For years I toughed it out with ball heads, both big and little. A single evening with a Linhof M679cs camera convinced me that no 4x5 or any bellows camera-- not to mention any tilt-shift lens... or macro lens setup is complete without a fully programmable tripod head.
The Arca-Swiss C-1 (purchased here) is that head for the fellow or fellow-ette with various disparate camera parts. The Arca Classic Quick Release is a breeze to lock, and holds fast. With the exception of the rear lift, every gear is labelled, and no movement ever tweaks.
If you are a heavy macro shooter, or stacker, or if you make use of heavy technical 4x5 camera bodies, don't go through the pain. Buy right the first time. Get an Arca-Swiss C1.
I will follow this post up with a proper review early in the new year. Suffice it to say that these fingers and these eyes are very, very happy.