I read Hogan's pages and like what he has to say (and who wouldn't), but he's a bit of an elitist. I tend to think that most folks who shoot aren't professionals earning enough to pay over a grand for a tripod. :-)
One can get 'pretty good stuff' and do very well.
What you get will largely depend upon how much you want to use it. I would encourage you to think about that some. I use mine a lot, so it's a big deal to me. Left and right axis is bigger than you might think, too, especially if you use Creative Lighting System. It's bitch if the light is to the left and your axis on the head is on the right for a vertical shot and you need your pop up flash on the wrong side - there are many ways around it, but you may not have them in your gadget bag with you when you need it.
Toting it around will be a drag if you use it and it's heavy - a conundrum you don't want to have. Lighter tripods aren't the best either, unless they're made of carbon fiber and then they are expensive.
That's why Drab is suggesting go lightly into supports. See what's there and how much you need it and what you're willing to do. You might find that it's not so much for you, or you might find that it dramatically improves your shots. If you do it right, it will. A rock steady shot will just be better than one hand held.
Nonetheless, a few dollars spent to check things out will certainly be better than jumping in to find out that it just isn't a fit for you.
You'll also need one of two things: a remote control or cable release. I prefer the cable release. Don't try to use your hand to fire the shutter, it will defeat the reason for the tripod in the first place, regardless of how fast the shutter - a firm support needs a firm shutter release to fire it.
Granted, a fast shutter or a strobe lighted scene should 'freeze' a scene, but a firm support is added insurance in any shot.