PBD, how does the combi stand do as a boom without a counterweight? I looked at them before, nice idea! I was concerned about load (monolight use, sometimes) so I went with the 024 boom on the 1004 stand.
Neuro, bearing in mind all these loadings go out the window in wind and you need to be realistic with expectations, the 420 is perfectly fine with no counterweight a 600EX and the 24" Lastolite at modest extensions, certainly enough to clear the frame with a clam shell type lighting setup. But it comes with a bag (well mine did) and I have become quite adept at finding stuff to put in it, my favourite is oranges, everybody here has tons of oranges at their house! Or apples or cans etc etc, never used sand in it. With a counterweight I have had my 50" Apollo and three flashes in it on the 420, not the ideal setup, but it works fine.
Thanks! The reason I asked, actually, was the boom you linked above was the NSB version, and NSB = no sand bag. There's a version with the counterweight bag, runs ~$30 more.
Looks like Manfrotto has a rebate on, $45 back on items $150-250.