I have decided on the Gitzo Mountaineer with an Acratech GP head. When fully extended without the column the center of my viewfinder with the GT2541 is about 2 inches below my eye level. When fully extended without the column the center of my viewfinder with the GT2542L is about 2 inches above my eye level.
What is better on a long day out: 1) (2542) stretching up at full attention plus a bit. 2) (2542) not using the tripod at full height, but taking a few seconds to adjust it down a bit. 3) (2541) Standing spread leg and possibly stooping a bit at full extension, but getting to full extension faster.
Also, any difference in stability here?
Man, talk about being spoiled.