My upgrade requirements for the legs were three section aluminum legs that could support 11 pounds of camera and glass without a shiver. I wanted to be able to shift from a vertical to horizontal arm with ease. The portability of the tripod was not as much a concern for me as stability. I am not one to hike for a day into the wilderness or about town with a tripod on my back anymore. I am, however, likely to set things up where it might be bumped by someone not paying attention. After reading reviews all over the internet, I chose the Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs by Bogen for my legs. I found the best price on amazon.com.
Professional quality tripod legs do not routinely come with a head. I was used to the old twist 'em and pan 'em rod sticking out the rear of the Velbon tripod, and my technique had adapted to it. Even though I tend to erect the tripod, attach the camera, line things up and shoot, I wanted a head that adjusted easily, was compact, and functioned similarly to what I was used to. The Manfrotto 322RC2 Horizontal Grip Action Ball Head with a RC2 Rapid Connect Plate seemed to be just the ticket. I was concerned about quality of construction though. I surfed through numerous online reviews again, and when I found it was constructed of magnesium instead of plastic, I was sold. I added it to my order at amazon.
With guns, I often tell people that the sting of the price disappears long before the regret of a cheaper, inadequate choice made on the basis of price. I also tell people that putting a cheap scope on an accurate rifle results in an inaccurate rifle. The same holds true for photography support equipment. I'm still feeling the sting, but I have a feeling that it will go away as soon as I start using this set-up.