"I'm looking at a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3, and a very nice ball head to go with it,"
Trust in this, - avoid the Manfrotto legs like the plague! They have cheapened their product to such an extent that it is now nothing like as good as the competition. In addition you will need to buy so many accessories (like the bag & the strap) that by the time you've got the tripod to the spec of competitors, you might as well have bought a Gitzo. I was so disgusted with mine that I sold it soon after I got it, it once would have fallen over for no apparant reason, had I not caught it.
For landscape/portrait I wouldn't use a ball head either, the 3D types are much better as each plane is individually adjustable, there's normally plenty of time to set up the shot, and get it exactly right.
There are two types of remote release - corded & infra red cordless with the corded one you're limited by cable length, but the infra red will only work in front of the camera, and is less effective in bright light. Which ever you use you should shoot with live view enabled as this flips the mirror up & avoids the vibration (mirror slap) giving sharper images.