For the last year and a half, I've been working with a $40 or $50 aluminum tripod. In short, I'm ready to buy a new tripod and I've been looking around at different models for a month or two now. So, I was wondering: what brand and model tripods are people on the forum using? And, from your personal experiences, would you recommend the model you're using now? I ask because I'm finding it difficult to home in on a tripod model that I really feel confident dropping some cash on. It's easy enough to home in on the good brands... I'm familiar with them. But, basically, I've got a budget of $200, definitely no more than $250... so I'm trying to find a few specific models to help narrow down the search. By and large, my cheap aluminum tripod has done remarkably well by me... much better than many people would ever let you believe it could. I haven't had any problems with stability whatsoever, even on very long exposures. My only complaint is that the legs are attached to a center-column, which greatly increases the minimum functional height of the tripod. I really need one that has legs which can move independently of one another... preferably one in which the legs can be splayed out far enough to drop the camera within 10" or 12" (or less) from the ground. I've borrowed some nice ones, all of which, as far as I know, are discontinued models. Now borrowing time is up, and I'm lookin to get myself something nicer.