I see a number of ball heads for sale that have a long quarter-inch screw and plastic knob threaded on it. To attach it to the camera, you have to spin the camera or the tri (mono) pod a few revolutions before snugging up the nut. That might be OK for tiny compact cameras where a release plate is not much smaller than the whole camera, but these are rated for example for 6 pounds or 30 pounds or other heavy loads.
Given a merely 3-pound DSLR and carbon fiber tripod, I would worry about breaking something before the screw was grabbing enough threads to take some torque. That is beside then worry of dropping something.
Is there a point other than to pick a quick-release plate separately? For semi-permanent attachment like we see between heads and legs, I think it would be designed differently and not have a permanent extra length of screw between the components, and a weaker screw at that?