I use a Manfrotto monopod and ball head - I like it.
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Used with a 7D & grip with the 100-400, with the ball head clamp loose but the friction wound up, I find it a useful tool.
Using the friction of the ball head allows me to easily and quickly recompose - mostly used for birding, once at an airshow and twice at a football game.
Mind you, I have no experience of other systems to compare it to.