If you plan to use it for backpacking - sturdiness, compact size, and overall weight are all concerns. I'm also a frequent backpacker (an ultralighter, too - excluding camera gear, my base weight is usually in the 10-11lbs range), and shoot with a 5D3/7D and an assortment of lenses (24mm f/1.4 II, 100mm f/2.8 IS, 40mm f/2.8 STM, 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II, etc. - although in the backcountry I usually pack just the 24 f/1.4).
Given my intended use and equipment set here's what I ended up with:
For the legs I went with a gitzo GT1540F, a 4 section design which uses gitzo's ocean locks on the bottom two leg sections (about $580, the ocean locks make the tripod easier to clean in the field and give me more flexibility/less to worry about when setting up in streams, etc.). For the head I have a RRS BH-30 ($275, plus about $50-60 per for several plates - one of the 5D3, one for the 7D, one for the 70-200 f/2.
The combination is exceptionally sturdy - the gitzo tripod is appreciably more solid feeling than the manfrotto 190CXPRO3 tripod I was using before. And lighter - the combined weight of the head/tripod is pretty manageable at about 3lbs (which is about what the manfrotto weighs by itself). Folded, the combo is quite compact, and with all leg section fully deployed my ungripped 5D3's viewfinder is at eye-level (I'm 5'8") w/o having to extend the center column.
The RRS plate system combined with the lever release of the head itself is unequivocally better compared to the manfrotto RC2 QR plates of my previous head (a manfrotto 322RC2). The RRS system offers a simple, sure lock, but the RRS lever release also allows for you to fine tune placement of the setup without having to fully unlock (there is a halfway point where the plate itself is free to move, but it isn't a full release so there is greatly reduced risk of your equipment taking a catastrophic fall). Comparatively, my RC2 system would occasionally jam, placement had to be just right for it to lock, there was no adjustment available, etc. - the arca-swiss style plate systems are better in every way I can think of.
I paid twice looking for my ideal setup, hopefully others examining this thread don't have to do the same.