jake yer cousin: Informative article, but well behind the curve on pricing. The cost of carbon fiber tripods has dropped into the $100 US range.
I recently purchased a Sunpak carbon fiber tripod at Costco for $99US. This pod has three section legs, extra post, reversible post, quick-release leg locks, pistol grip ball head with levels, which can be panned for video use. It weighs 3lbs and extends to 65" and comes with a case.
In use, it has proven to be everything but a willing sex partner. It is easy to carry, setup, and use. The quick release camera plate works fine (it can be a bit hard to flip out the curved tightening aid). The tripod is steady until the column is fully extended, then it is a bit wobbly.
Found them on Ebay as well: http://tinyurl.com/d3doab3
I was unable to find it on Costco.com just now, although I still see them in my local store.
I am not able to speak to your tripod, but the Sunpak 423PX2 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod that I purchased has seven layer carbon fiber legs. The specs can be seen at:http://tinyurl.com/3nrujam
Certainly, there are differences between tripods, and those costing more often offer advantages over a less expensive model. All I can say is that I have been a photographer for over 30 years, I own Bogen pods that will hold up a large horse if needed. For ease of use, ease of carrying (which this old fart greatly appreciates) this pod has served admirably in wind, snow, shooting stills and video.
Is it the equal of a $500 pod? Probably not, but I'll put it up against tripods costing two or three times a much and be happy to pocket the difference.
Informative article, but well behind the curve on pricing. The cost of carbon fiber tripods has dropped into the $100 US range.