I am in a similar situation, though perhaps looking for something a bit more compact. My criteria in rough order of importance are
1) Able to support a full frame camera with a pano head and 24-105-size lens, or a 70-200 2.8 without a pano head
2) Tall enough for me to use comfortably (I am about 6'2")
3) Short enough folded and with ballhead on to fit in carry-on or inside a regular backpack (<18" preferred)
My current top contender is probably a Feisol 3442 (http://reallybigcameras.com/Feisol/Tripods
). I would probably get a PhotoClam 44 ballhead with that (which is currently cheaper than the 40mm head) and the optional center column. The legs on this tripod fold "backwards" over the head, which reduces the folded length. Feisol also has other travel tripods with the backwards folding legs; the 3441T is tall enough for me, but has a permanently mounted center column and not take as large of a head, the 3441S is too short without the two-stage center column.
I am also considering the Gitzo Traveler and Ocean Traveler lines (http://www.gitzo.us/photo-tripods-traveler
). The legs on these also fold "backwards" over the head, and the storage length is a bit less than the Feisol; however I would have to raise the center column to use these, and I am a little worried about affecting stability.
The Really Right Stuff TQC-14 looks interesting, but it seems that the legs can not fold backwards over the head to reduce stored length (legs + head overall length of 20.5", which is a bit too long). However, if its easy enough to remove the center column or head to reduce the folded length, this tripod might be an option. This tripod is also a little short for me without the center column extended, which raises the same issue as above.
Hope this helps the original poster and, if anyone else has any input, it would be greatly appreciated.