I was also in a similar predicament: My trusty 25 year old Cullman 2504 had a lame leg because of 2 defective parts. I search the web, and eventually stumbled upon this site in general, and this post in particular. I decided to see if I can get any advise on whom could prossibly provide service or a replacement parts. So I followed the link provided above. I really was not hoping for much, resigned to the fact that it might finally be time to buy a new tripod. So I visited Cullman's website, which is all in German, by the way, and somehow sent off an email explaining my case.
To my utter amazement, I got a quick response from Merian, whom offered her assistance by sending me a schematic diagram of my tripod so that I could identify the parts in question. Not expensive parts by any means, basically two plastic sheaths that fit inside the leg of the tripod, but what were the odds of that 25 year old item still being in stock anywhere? After a few emails, withing three days the replacement parts were on thier way.
I defy anyone to give me an example of a company that will offer any assistance, let alone service a 25 year old (at least) product free of charge! Remember, this is coming from Germany. Most any other company would have stated that the product is no longer supported or refered my to thier Canadian distributor. (Who most likely would of told me the same thing).
But it get's better. Three weeks later, I was shocked to see that somehow, the lever arm had come unscrewed and dropped off. Search as I might, I could not find it. Embarressed, but desperate, I decided to write Cullman again, to request the contact details of thier Canadian distributor. Merian replied that they would send off the missing part once again, and, oh, by the way, this other part looks worn, you might want us to send that one along as well.
Quality, pricing, functionality are all important components when it come to purchasing a product. But after sales service, such as what was provided me by Cullman, goes a long way to secure customer loyalty. And believe me, they are way ahead of the game!
Oh, and while I am at it..this is my first post in your site, and a lovely site it is! I have come back into photography after a very long hiatus. My last camera was a minolta X700, and before that, the Minolta SRT 101. I just reaquanting myself with the joy of photography, this time with a DSLR.
I will no doubt be participating and posting more in the near future, and look forward to interacting with my fellow shutter buffs!