i have the same giottos too. its quite good but over time, the ball will have teeth marks, maybe coz i always overtighten. the tensioner is nice. but i dont like the quick-release, unlike regular QR plates which is released by a flip of the lever, the giottos 1 need to be tighted/loosen by a knob. dont really consider as quick-release, not quick to release at all.

i use the manfrotto 190. cannot remember is pro or what version. it is silver in colour. i use to have the slik able300 but i changed to this manfrotto 1 coz the slik able300 legs sections are all knob-tightened. so veru slow to setup and keep, imagine having to tighten 9 knobs just to set it up. the manfrotto 190 weighs almost the same as the slik able300 (heavy....) but the leg sections are tighten by the clip-type mechanism, so setup is much faster.

overall this combo is good for me as i only mount either my eos30 or 10d with 17-40 lens and seldom with my 550ex on, so the weight is just right. one point is that i only mount my camera without its vertical grip, somehow with the vertical grip on, the giottos will droop down quite abit even after tightening, dont think the grip is that heavy leh... perhaps its the increase in camera height.

been using it for 2 years now, overall very satisfied. used it quite often, including my honeymoon.