Well, if you are not sure you need one, you probably do not. Under most circumstances, a full on 200x doesn't really require one. Just remember to tuck in your elbows, hold your breath and squeeze slowly. Mostly, you can get anything up to 350-400 with few problems with any sort of real light. It does take a bit of practice to get shadowy shots, or decent night pictures, though...even with a tripod. My wife really liked the Manfroto when we got ours a few years back. The ball head is near it's limit with the lenses we have. Graphite construction means the tripod is faily shock resistant. A sling with some rope helps some to hold things steady. Put your foot on it to hold it down, or, add weight bags...a dry bag turned inside out with some rocks and sand in it. I believe it is a Manfrotto 055M73, but we got it several years ago. Along with it we got a ball head, a Manfroto 3437 Magnesium. We got it locally at the Lab of Ornithology at Cornell. I think I would hold off on the tripod till I got a larger lens. There are other alternatives.
A simple staff, with a 1/4" bolt works well as a monopod. This helps to steady the camera. Also,
leaning against a tree helps a lot. A lot like shooting a rifle at a 500 yard target. I would suggest a 2x extender tube also. For most lenses now days, you won't notice much chromatic distortion unless you really blow up the picture, easily fixed in photoshop. Usually fine for for household pictures. Not real great for wall mounted portraits, though. The difference between weight for an additional, larger zoom, or the extender is worth it 90% of the time.
Anyway, my 2 cents...