I have a Canon Digital EOS 400D (XTi) and am looking into purchasing my first tripod. I was wondering whether the Manfrotto 190XPROB would be a good choice as a first tripod and what head I should get to go with it.
I have the Manfrotto 190XPROB and it is very good. Obviously it is quite heavy.
I bought a mini ball head which isn't strong enough, I regret not spending enough on the head.
I'm quite happy with mine. I have an 804RC2 head which is good for panning, however a ball-head or trigger-grip head would allow for faster repositioning.
The 190XProb isn't a full-height tripod, though it is tall enough and steady enough for most uses. It is also a very versatile tripod because the legs can be individually adjusted to different angles and the column can be placed horizontally - which is useful for photographing documents or other objects on a table, the floor etc. It is heavier than cheap aluminium tripods I have used, but much more rigid.
Your first comment on RedGrittyBrick's answer fills in some much-needed detail. One of the main features of the 190XPROB is the center column's ability to go horizontal (for shoot-down capability). It is a good set of legs, but you do pay a premium for that one feature. The same legs without the trick center column (the 190XB) is $40-50 dollars cheaper if you don't need the feature. Nobody, though, ever got fired for buying Manfrotto (or Bogen/Avenger, when the American version carried a different brand), and you won't feel like you've settled for something less than you deserve if you get either of those sets of legs.
That being said, don't let your own height dictate your tripod's height. You can make more interesting pictures from unusual points of view than you can from a mechanically-assisted version of "just standing there". Granted, getting down low is often more important than getting up high, but I don't think I'd ever be satisfied again with a tripod that wouldn't let me (1)get up on a step-stool for a look down on things, or (2)let me work on uneven terrain with at least one leg extended far beyond where it would have to be on level ground. Induro (AT213) and Benro (A297EX) (among others) offer tripods at about the same price level as the 190XB that are every bit as sturdy, but nearly a foot taller. Of course, they're heavier as well (as is Manfrotto's 055 model) if that's a concern -- they're not nearly as heavy as a commercial-quality video tripod would be, but they might be just a bit much for a long hike.
(Disclosure: I'm using an Induro AT213 at the moment -- well, not at this moment, obviously, since I'm sitting at the computer typing, but... -- and could only be happier when my Benbo #2 is back in action. The Benbo is an acquired taste, and I've acquired it badly. It'll go to over eight feet tall, and I can put one leg on the floor, one on the ceiling and the third on a wall if I have to. I've also been the happy owner of a number of Manfrotto 'pods over the years -- the only thing I've ever disliked about Manfrotto is that they don't believe in the ArcaSwiss QR plate system, so I either have to use someone else's head or put adapters on all of my favorite accessories. If you've ever used an L-plate, you'll never use the 90-degree tilt feature of a tripod head voluntarily again.)