Sorry for a misleading suggestion. I meant the Arca-Swiss method of quick release, not actually an Arca-Swiss head. They indeed tend to be even more pricey than the others. Kirk, RRS, Markins, and possibly some others make A-S compatible heads, plates and clamps. They're still not inexpensive (especially when it probably means new tripod legs too), but there's a reason that they're as common as they are amongst serious photographers.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!