Thanks for all this help guys! It seems that some opinions are polarized much like digital vs film when it comes to tripod lol I guess I need to figure out how portable I need it to be, I won't really be climbing Everest with it, but then again its not going to be sat in a studio.

Perhaps an aluminium set of Gitzo legs and a basic ball mount might work for me, although I do love the idea of having a wooden tripod - that suggestion for a surveyors set is interesting as that needs to be perfectly stable and portable, it might be a slightly different alternative.