A while ago I got a new tripod. I got Manfrotto 055XPROB legs and a Manfrotto 488RC0 ball head.
Up till now I had been using a cheap tripod from Walmart. Normally I don't cheap out with something like that and get the absolute cheapest one, but at the time I bought it (2003) I just wanted one to play around with. I had no intention of using it to photograph my work because I didn't know how to photograph my work.
I was getting tired of using a tripod that made me nervous cause it was so unstable. I had been thinking about getting a better tripod for years, but when ever I looked at them I was always overwhelmed by the selection of legs and heads. So finally I spent some time and figured out which looked best for me. If I would have known how much better a good brand name tripod was I would have gotten it years ago. There is such a difference between this one and my old one. This one is stable, it doesn't feel like it could easily be knocked over like my old one. And the head doesn't feel like it might drop my camera. It is also bigger, so I no longer have to do things like put my tripod on cinder blocks when I want to get my camera higher.
With the Manfrotto you can do fancy things like put the center column horizontal to photograph something directly from above. There is a hook near the center of the legs to hang a weight from to make it more stable.