I certainly don't qualify as an expert on ballheads, but after doing quite a bit of research and playing with several different brands at B&H in NYC, I recently bought an Induro and I really like it.
For the use you described, you might want to take a look at the BHL1 or BHL2 models. I also do a lot of hiking and shoot with a D7000. My longest lens is an older Nikkor 400mm f5.6, which is not very heavy for that length lens. So for me the BHL1 was ideal. For $180, it's very solid, easy to adjust and not overly heavy at about 1 lb. It has an Arca-Style double-locking quick release and included a camera plate that I mounted to the lens. I bought a second plate for the camera body as well. Induro states the BHL1 can handle up to 44 pounds. The BHL2 is rated for up to 66 pounds and costs $270.