I bought a Vanguard Alta 264AO ($200) at Cabela's last year and am very happy with it. I got a lot of good advice on here last year from folks who really know their stuff. For basic use in your office, you could probably go lower on price and be happy. I would suggest going to a camera store and try the movement in the head unit which is where I noticed the largest difference in smoothness.
I prefer to think of myself as a control enthusiast.