I don't mean to be the voice of Walmart, but I use a heavy-weight studio tripod, and a carbon-fiber traveling tripod, made by Amvona (Amvona.com, or *gasp* ebay). I perch my precious 20D on them, and don't worry for a minute, and they're a whole lot less $$ than a Gitzo. If I felt I were giving up performance, reliability, or features I'd go for the high-priced spread, but these are beefy and flexible. They do exactly what I want a tripod to do. I don't worry about them, and I save some real dollars to put in my wallet for lighting and glass.
Am I giving something up, risking something, being short-sighted somehow?