Thank you everyone.

It seems the consensus is on going with ball and socket!
The reason I like the Velbon is it also has an extremely simple and quick 'twist-lock' system for the legs and a splittable centre column so you can use it at a very low height (17cm), with a maximum height of 1.2m. It collapses down to 34cm in length. My priority is on saving weight and bulk, because a lot of the time I cycle to locations with all my gear in a backpack, so a tripod that folds down to 34cm in length, with a compact b&s head is going to be ideal!

Thanks again everyone, the Velbon Ultra Luxi SF it is!