On these pages you will find some panoramas that I have created.
I use a Manfrotto 190CL tripod it is well made and reasonably priced. The only thing that I don't like about it is its weight: 1.8 kg (3.9 lbs). It is fine for most occasions but is a bit heavy if you need to carry it a long way from a road.
I use a Manfrotto 484RC2 head it is robust and has a quick release plate. It doesn't have a bubble level which would have been useful.
I currently use a Panosaurus panoramic head. The panosaurus is very inexpensive $85.95 plus shipping of $18 to Europe. With the US Dollar being weak against the Pound at the moment that equates to approximately £55 including shipping. My Canon G2 camera has the mounting hole on the wrong side of the centre line but the maker can modify the Panosaurus to fit most cameras at no extra charge.
SoftwareAll of the panorama creation tools that I have looked at are helper applications for Helmut Dersch's panorama stitching software: Panorama Tools. This is extremely powerful but rather daunting software and is not very user friendly. Aparently there is even a part of Panorama Tools for which source does not exist. Helmut Dersch gave up developing Panorama Tools some years ago so improvements and bug fixes are made by users.
I started off using PTAssembler created by Max Lyons but at the time it had an irritating bug which caused it to crash and lose work. I didn't like having to recreate hours of work so I looked for another front end to do the job.
I tries Hugin but although it looked promising and was Open Source, and thus free, it was really unstable and to my mind unuseable. At the time it didn't look like thare was much development going on either.
Eventually I settled on PTgui which wasn't very expensive (49 Euros + VAT) but has always been stable and fast. The developer is active and there have been several updates in the past year.