in the USA) that do not cost an arm and a leg (I now have three of them). Peek at the above links. Depending on your own height I am sure we can make specific recommendations. As you already know from your monopod experience, this brand is very good.
I recently got a slik 804 carbon fiber model. It is very light, around 2.5 pounds, and collapses down to about 17 inches. It will fit very easily on the outside of my mini-trekker. I'm not real happy with the head the B & H sales guy talked me into, the Linhof ball II QR. It isn't very smooth. Thinking I should have got a Kirk or Arca Swiss. The only thing I don't like about the Slik is the twist lock. The legs are in four extensions that take a few minutes to extend and then retract later.
Howard The Dallas, Texas Nikonian I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
Given it's light weight how well will it support some large equipment. My U-212 could support my F3 with MD-4 and 300mm f:2.8. These Carbon Fiber jobs concern me. Light weight is one thing but the laws of physics say that is is going to topple over if the weight on it is too much.
I had a nasty fall with my Gitzo and landed in the middle of it, breaking off one leg and severely bending another.
I started to look at Gitzos, just because I owned one. There are WAY TOO MANY models and of course, the carbon fiber one.
What I started to think was that any tripod, which has a hook at the bottom of the center shaft may be suspect. Why should a person need to add extra weight, to stabilize it?
The carbon fibers are light, but after my spill, I am thinking I need a sturdy one to hold my stuff. I too, have an 80-200, but with a 2x teleconverter and also an F5. They were damaged in my fall and will need at least new mounting rings.
So needless to say, I really want sturdiness and stability. I have an Arco-swiss head with the "Really Right Stuff" plates, so I am not going to want to change that.
I looked at a Manfrotto today and it looked pretty good. Seemed to have good stability. I wonder if those "spiked feet" are any good.
"Today is the tomorrow that yesterday you spent money like there was no."