Frotto are a weird bunch - I am hooked to their 501/577 system of tripod plates, suction cups and arri/avenger/frotto grip
but this is from an offline exchange with a mate about the simpla baseplate rod thingy..
FWIW, though, the Manfrotto is a bit of a disappointment. Very big and heavy, and whilst it is adjustable, there's just too many knobs and levers on it. also the rear screw hole misthreaded and is now unusable (not really guarantee job as it's user error). Currently working on the one hole. Seriously chalking it up to experience and seeking a replacement.
I think the best thing with any brand is to get it in your hands and have a yank!