My birthday was just over a week ago, but today I celebrated with my mum, my sister and some friends who live further away. I got a real treat in the form of a Benro MAD49A monopod and a FalconEyes FT-011H pistol grip ball head. The monopod is very solid, and extends to 191 cm. It is made of an aluminium-magnesium alloy, not as light as carbon, but pretty light.
The ball head is very solid indeed. I will write a full review when I get a chance to use it with my Helios Apol