Matt, I use a discontinued Berlebach Report 8043. It is similar to the current Report 823.Jesse,
The only takeaway from my tests (so far) is that HOW you set up and use your equipment is more important than WHAT equipment you have (to within obvious limits). My problems with ball heads has always been keeping the horizon level while adjusting. So I've used the Cube, L60, and L75 pretty exclusively. But now the FLM and the Acratech leveler/pan head combination both solve that problem. (Uniqball did it, too, but their fit and finish wasn't up to the RRS/Arca level). I'm not sure if the FLM needs to be leveled first itself, which means either a leveling base or careful tripod adjustment. (Leveling a tripod isn't that hard. Adjust one leg until the bubble is in line with another leg and then adjust that one. Done! Of course, with a lot of camera/lens on top, it's not as easy as turning a knob on a geared head.)
I was going to throw a large wooden tripod (I have a precursor to the Ries J600 - about as small as they get) into the mix, but it arrived too broken to use and I sent it back. I'm not sure whether I'll try for another one. They get to Gitzo 5 series prices. What model do you use?
I have the 50cm center column, however, it usually stays home.