I'll admit it, I've been holding out on you.
I decided to purchase the Giottos MM5580 P-pod because it can serve sextuple duty:
- Tripod (not a very stable one though)
- Macro tripod (this should be very useful to me)
- Light stand (in tripod mode)
- Background light stand (in macro mode)
- Walking stick (well, maybe)
I've found some good deals for the MM5580 on eBay, but I didn't want to post because I didn't want extra competition for the one used MM5580 I was going after. I ended up winning that auction for $53.25 + $10 S/H + $4 tax = ~$67. The best price I found beyond that was $80 with free buy it now shipping (according to the listing) from a seller called vcc113. Be warned though, I sent vcc113 an e-mail to confirm the free shipping, and got no response. From Amazon and other sources, expect to pay around $90.
Once I've had some time with the pod, I'll post a review. For now, here's a list of current eBay listings of the 5580: