Just got this so can't talk about extensive use - but so far I love it. It can be daunting trying to decide on a first decent Tripod (which this is for me and my Canon T3i). I did a lot of research and it came down to a few models based on friends and forum members recommendations. I wanted to keep my purchase within a certain budget and still get good bang for my buck. Important factors for me were: Good solid construction, lightweight, portable (to take on trips), with a ball mount. The Benro Mefoto is all of the above. Do I wish it stood taller, sure. But since the T3i has a live view with a screen - I don't see myself having to lean over that much or for that long. It's really compact. I mean REALLY - it's appx. 12 inches folded down. Comes in a nice carry bag with strap and has already been used several times for family portraits. I feel very happy with my purchase, it arrived quickly (thanks Abe's) and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to someone looking for something similar.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend