I guess i can call myself fortunate, as in i dont find the amount i paid for my BH-55 to be much compared to what it gives me, im not rich either.
Ive spent a VERY long time saving up for the gear i currently own, suffice to say ive been working since i was 16, when i turned 18 i started to operate a truck mounted crane, at 21 i started to operate a bigger one, now at almoast 24 im operating a mobile crane, 250 tonne one, and all the time since i was around 18 ive been saving most of my money, because i dont spend it on clothes etc. like some people my age maybe would.
I also still live at home, albeit its in the room on top of my parents garage, its still cheaper than my own house or an appartment, so the only reason i as an advanced amateur photographer is running around with a 600mm on a wimberley head on my gitzo 5541 and my bh-55 on a gitzo 3541 is just that.
I dont own anything else, except an old crappy car, everything i earn is spend on Neeeeekon gear and accesories.
Ive chosen to live this way because, im not sure if i could say it this way, but id descripe it as taking my passion for photography to the next level. Also, as some of you might, i don't (yet) have a family i have to think about, if i did, i certainly would not spend (that much) on gear but rather on my kids, so i thoroughly understand why you'd want to try and get a cheaper one.
I guess this turned into a litle bit of a background story about me, call it my introduction to this forum if you will =), even tho ive been lurking around for a while.
Back on topic, i would very much suggest that if you have the possibility, go to a store and try em' out if you can, most important features in my mind is its fluid motion, when its locked its LOCKED, and that it feels solid.
That would proberly be the the best advice i can give, but im sure someone else must have some experience with heads from manfrotto etc.
So, excuse me for my long post, i guess im bored =).