Well, I got the XShot in mail quicker than I expected. I see what you're saying zeeden about its sturdiness when fully extended. In the short time I've had with it, I think I've found a sweet spot that's just short of full length. Feels like it will hold up better at a little shorter length.
As far as the DIY route, I've made a full cockpit for Gran Turismo 5 so, I have nothing against making things on my own
. The fact that it retracts is just such a big deal in my book. I can switch from pole to helmet view whenever and just tuck it away in my bag. I'm really pleased by how short it retracts. Its just a tad longer than my DirectTV remote which is perfect.
The XShot does address the rotation issue from the camera's weight by adding notches down the sides of the pole. For some reason, it feels like I may have problems down the road with it.
I'll take pics of it soon and post em up.