I've finally done it and built a wooden tripod. (A couple pictures here, more at http://www.geocities.com/bonezphoto/WoodenTripod.html).
It's a prototype, "pre-production" model. Not that I plan on actually going into production, but I learned a few things from the mistakes I made on this one. Despite the mistakes, it's surprisingly light and sturdy. I made it from cheap pine (actually some reclaimed boards I've had sitting around for years, so the wood cost me $0.) And it looks really nice, if I don't say so myself. (I plan on using some nice mahogany for the "production" version.) It has pretty much everything you'd want in a tripod except for an elevator crank.
If anyone's interested, I'd be glad to share the gory details of construction.