Just call me a curmudgeon or an inverse gearhead snob, or whatever you like.
This is my faithful panohead of the last 8 years. Home Depot technology at it's best, using bolts originally designed to hold together horse-drawn carriages. Oak is the poor-man's aluminum, and has served me well on numerous devices that were quite sophisticated in function if not in appearance.
The pano head builds up from an ebay Gitzo G1270 head, which has the virtue of tilting sideways and being otherwise very rigid. There are many other possible candidates, all of them unlovely enough to be had for a song at auction. The long camera bolt slot on the G1270 serves to support two long carriage bolts that prevent the vertical beam from rotating. Highly stable in winds up to about 40 mph. Superb damping characteristics. The long lever that would normally have tilted the camera now serves as a sort of rough approximation nodal point adjuster, working hand in hand with a series to pre-drilled holes on the piece of oak supporting the camera. Note the Photoshop-created paper bands just under the Gitzo head, it's just a matter of positioning the band appropriate to the lens in use to its friction-fit near the base of the Gitzo pan axis.
I eschew sophisticated leveling devices for a tripod with easily adjustable legs, where the highest adjustment nuts are within easy reach, and which is well maintained for smooth operation. 15 minutes of practice, and who needs a leveler? A basic problem with a simple solution not requiring additional hardware. A simple magic marker dot on the existing Gitzo bubble level shows me where the true bubble center is, which is of course slightly away from the old factory markings. Better to spend the weight of a leveler on an extra-rigid camera support.
Anyway, I am uncommonly pleased by ad hoc devices of this type, perhaps because of the way they allow design and engineering to leapfrog the quagmire of sophisticated fabrication and it's attendant stylistic diseases. How's that for spin doctoring?