So, I am having a rather severe case of what I understand to be analysis paralysis: the inability to make a decision over a product purchase! After a few posts on APUG and other webpages, and talking to my local camera shop, I am unsure of what to buy. Here is a bit of a recap: I use a Nikon FE2 and will be using asap a Hasselblad 500cm with lenses up to 150mm. I shoot fine art landscapes in inclement weather (snow, wind, rain).

Carbon Fiber: I was original hesitant to go with carbon, but many have suggested that it is better to simply buy carbon now, b/c eventually you will want it anyway, so you might as well just buy now. The Gitzo Mountaineering, Induro 8x CT214, and Manfrotto 055cxpro carbon, have come up most frequently. I can't imagine a significant difference between any one of these. The Gitzo I've held - it's very nice. Both the Induro and the Manfrotto have rave reviews on B&H.

Aluminum: After having decided on Carbon, I began to freak about spending $600+ when I could possibly buy aluminum legs and a great ball head for 1/2 the price. Of course, weight doubles, but unless I am missing something, I can't seem to see any other real advantage to carbon over aluminum other than weight. Many have suggested Tiltall and others have suggested that the Manfrotto 055 is great (800 plus very convincing reviews on B&H), sturdy tripod. Of course, Gitzo also makes aluminum.

Heads: I've not even begun to research these!

So this will be my final post on tripod legs. I'd welcome any advice on helping me make a decision based upon the above info. The decision is resting upon just spending the money upfront now for carbon, or going with aluminum to save $.