Thanks for the additional information. As expected, all of the comments, as well as a few minutes of playing with a cheap $15 promo tripod (which happened to carry the name of a major camera company beginning with "N" ), have caused me to reconsider things. As I have a reasonably compact Series-3 Systematic with a really nice ball head, perhaps I was a bit too quick to dismiss some of my tabletop options. I am not completely ruling out the compact tripods, but Gitzo does not make exactly what I want (a combination of features from the 3320 and the 531), and I am not sure how well some of the more affordable models will perform.
So, I am now considering the Leica table top, Kirk's table top, and one of the two Berlebach compact tripods. I would love to put a Markins Q3 on any of these, but the more frugal side of me says that a RRS BH-25 is about my top end. If budget was not much of a consideration, I could see a case for owning two out of the three of these in addition to my bigger Gitzo. But, budget is a big decision, so I am going to mull my options over before spending any funds.
I had initially hoped for more affordable quality solutions since the height and load factors were less than a DSLR with long lenses, but I can understand that compact does not always equate with more affordable. As my contractor informed me after completing a bathroom remodel a few years ago, a closet has the same amount of corners and walls as a room. It may use less wall board, but it requires almost the same amount of labor to construct. It was a costly lesson to say the least.