TheEmrys wrote:I would go with the Slik 700DX. Its an excellent tripod for ~$140.
I've got two of them. The oldest, purchased perhaps 11 years ago is a bomb-proof workhorse. It's somewhat heavy by today's standards, but has survived monsoonal storms, innumerable dings and drops, and even one swan dive off the cliffs of Bryce. The design, if well executed, is rigid, easy to work with, and reliable.
The more recent example, purchased ~7 years back, is a fragile POS. The nylon bushings that act as sliding bearings at each leg extension point have proven to be insanely fragile. Twice, I've been gently extending a leg when the whole thing came off in my hand. Springs, spacers, and bits of shattered plastic fly everywhere! It's quite spectacular, if rather maddening. This tripod has never been abused, yet it spontaneously explodes at every opportunity. Spare parts are available, but ridiculously expensive, given what you're buying and the likelihood of a repeat failure. It seems that the Bean Counters at Slik went with cheaper parts, resulting in a physically solid, but uselessly unreliable product. AVOID! FWIW, I've sworn off Slik for life.
As mentioned, the stock tilt/pan head that comes as an option with the 700DX is sturdy and functional, but Flintstonian in design and weighs half a ton. Get a ball-grip or appropriately sized tilt/pan head from another company! I have two Manfrotto ball grip heads, and older 222 vertical unit, as well as a fairly recent 322RC2 which I like a lot.