The main issue plaguing a lot of gun companies is quality control. While Taurus might get a bad rap, I've personally seen a lot of quality control issues with mainstream brands. It seems like people are quick to call it an anomaly when a more esteemed brand releases a lemon unto the public, and quick to condemn Taurus when a lemon gets through.
Old colts were known for being "brittle", and tough to fix properly.
All companies have their faults.
I would say that it again comes down to the finishing that makes the difference. Taurus tends to let their guns go out the door "gritty". You have to shoot a S&W trigger until it feels good. You have to actually do a trigger job on most Taurus, and the metal in all the places they dont expect you to see it in the shop usually needs some deburring and cleaning up. I still think theyre a step below Ruger/s&w/colt in quality and performance. Still a gun i wouldnt worry about carrying though.
Funny enough though isnt RIA popping out some cheapy revolvers for like $300? Ive heard timing and endshake are problems to check for.