Relatively speaking the 70-300mm lens is extemely light, weighing only 21.7 oz. That being said, it is much heavier and longer than any of my other lenses, a testament to how small and light the Olympus lenses are.
I've used this tripod before without event but not with this lens. Apparently, the lock on the front leg was faulty and the weight of the camera caused it to collapse. The camera fell forward and landed on the pop up flash. The flash no longer pops up but in low light it attempts to pop up screwing up the metering of the camera. The camera is still useable, especially in full sunlight but it remains to be seen if even under perfect conditions if it still exposes properly. It may also work fine with a hot shoe flash attached.
Olympus has a flat rate repair rate of $280. I will probably eventually pay to have it fixed but it seemed to me that I was halfway to a new camera so I went for the E-510.
In response to the question about editing with software, yes I do, but not all the time. Through a combination of laziness, time constraints and philosophy, I tend to process my photos minimally. Because I am not the most adept at processing images, I sometimes feel like the images look better if I don't fool with them too much.
For example, the grass photo and the Jeter photo have no processing. The crop of the grass was obviously processed with software. The whale spout shot was adjusted in Elements for exposure.
Basically what I do is download all of my shots to my computer, then upload them to Flickr. After looking at them for a while, I pick out the ones I like best and on those I willl spend some time on them editing.
I use a combination of Photoshop Elements 2.0, Photoshop CS2, Olympus Master/Studio and even use Piknick in Flicr for a quick effort.
This was processed in Picknik:
This is the original image: