I appreciate your expertise. Robert, I think I have to revert to a wooden field camera, basically because the winters here in minnesota are really cold, and anything metal will destroy my fingers. (thank God for wooden tripods).
So far I've gotten really good impressions of the Shen-Hao cameras. Lots of people have recommended them.
Steve, the only other thing I would need is tilt and swing of the front standard to control depth of field. I don't need a lot of movements, but I do need to be able to have full control of the DOF. Without it I'm confined to work at really small apertures, due to the nature of the work that I do where the camera is really close to the ground, and everything (mostly) is in focus.
I'll be looking around for new and used cameras, and I have a better hunch now than I did before. Thanks a lot!