Some of you may remember a thread I started about a year ago regarding tripod options. I went through the usual process of buying a series of cheap tripods and finally listened to the insistence of people in that thread that I should invest in a "real" one. So I bought a new Gitzo and was quite disappointed to discover upon taking receipt of it that one of its legs came all the way out (in my hand, separate from the tripod) when extended. So I sent it back to the store, and they very quickly sent me a new one (kudos to Mike's Camera in Colorado for the great service). Fastforward to a year later. This time the darned thing failed on me in the field. I was reframing a shot (with a very light kit mounted on the tripod) and heard a strange crack of a sound. I was applying no more pressure than was necessary to move the ballhead a bit, so I didn't think much of it. Then 15 minutes later, I see this chunk of material fall right off of the top of the tripod. Photo: (click to enlarge) You can see how the black plastic stopper tab pushed clear through the porous material of the tripod's bottommost angle shelf. Woe is me. This is a "real" tripod? Alas, there was much I liked about the tripod, so I'm not giving up on Gitzo just yet. I had already been thinking of getting the next model up (a Series 2 carbon fiber model), so I just went ahead and ordered one and will give the repaired Gitzo to my husband to use. That is assuming that Gitzo honors the warranty and does the repair. We'll see how good they are with handling my warranty claim. That's it. Just looking for a little commiseration, I guess. Anyone else had a Gitzo fail on them? Is this a common problem or am I just unlucky?