I currently use a Manfrotto 3247 monopod and a Manfrotto/Bogan grip action ball head.
The monopod has served me well for 5 years, but to extend it is a twist and pull action, then a twist and push to make it short. It is getting hard to work, now. Sometimes I have to work like heck to get it all the way out, and sometimes I twist and twist,trying to break it loose to retract it. I'm afraid to put WD40 on it, afraid it won't hold at all, LOL!
First off, I'm a technically challenged female. When I tried using my husband's ball head with different knobs to adjust up and down, side to side, I never could remember which knob to grab for which action. Since I shoot a lot of birds, I need to change positions quickly. The squeeze grip of my head is just perfect for me. My husband pooh-poohed me when I got it 5 years ago, said it would be worthless, then just "had" to try it out. He went out and bought one the same day.
The only thing, when I have my 80-400 lens on, sometimes it won't maintain position. Not always, just at some angles.
I'd like to get a new monopod, one that is easy to adjust. Ditto a new head, and I'd prefer a squeeze action type like I have, only rated to support my heavy lens and D300.