Having used it for six months, so far I can add my recommendation for the Manfrotto 055CXPRO series (I have the 4 section for compactness -get the 3 section if you value set-up speed and stability higher). I tried out the tripod against a Gitzo GT1542 series tripod at Mifsuds in Brixham (from whom I bought mine); I would recommend trying a tripod in a high quality camera shop such as this before buying, nothing beats handling it for yourself.
FWIW the Gitzo was better in every respect except for price (basically, is it worth the 75% price premium for you?): I prefer the leg locks (but others don't); it is slightly better built; I like the fact that you can remove the extending centre column (but others may prefer the Manfrotto system e.g. for macro shooting).
Whilst high wind stability is an issue for all the lighter carbon fibre tripods, they do damp wind induced oscillations better and are lighter. I would highly recommend a carbon tripod if your budget allows, if not then I'd probably go for a slightly heavier duty aluminium model, such as the Manfrotto 055XB or 055XDB.
If you want an even lighter and more compact tripod, I did try the 190CXPRO series as well and on the basis of my in-shop handling only, would second Neuroanatomist's recommendation. They are considerably smaller than the 055s, very well built and much taller than my Slik PRO340DX -don't overlook this last specification.
If you're looking for a tripod to mount super-teles, then you're looking for the Gitzo 35XX series upwards. I can't pass any judgement here, but would recommend that you read Arthur Morris' site for assistance (http://www.birdsasart.com/
). You might also try http://www.bythom.com/support.htm
if you can cope with a Nikon based site (not that this matters for tripods!).
The exception to my Manfrotto recommendation is the RC2 plate that I have mounted on the 498 head I bought for the tripod: again I agree with Neuroanoatomist, it is poor! Even the Slik quick release plate is superior! Personally, I'm not sure if a ballhead is right for my (landscape) needs; I find it difficult to use a hotshoe level without altering my composition. Perhaps I need a pan and tilt, or maybe a better ballhead. I cannot give an overwhelming recommendation for the Manfrotto ballheads, but at least they are relatively cheap!
Sorry this is a bit long, but I hope it helps...