Timely question for me! I bought my stands back in the '70s and noticed how heavy they were are on a location shoot last week. Also, the fact that they took about two feet of saltwater during hurricane Ivan doesn't help much either - they are rusting inside despite two years of cleaning. All my other light stands, tripods, etc are much more recent and much lighter - so I'm looking around, too. Since I like multitask equipment, I'm thinking about buying a couple more good quality light stands (even two more boom stands like my facorite Manfrotto 420) to do double duty instead of a backdrop kit. Yeah, they are a lot more expensive but a lot more versitile. Let me know what you end up with and how it works out.