To me the ideal tripod is very small and very lightweight and -- most importantly -- the top module snaps off for installment on the base of your camera. This way you can set it up quickly.
I recently discovered the Joby "Gorillapod" and it was love at first sight. This lightweight plastic tripod meets all my criteria -- and then some. It comes in various colors (I chose grey) and two sizes: small size for regular digital cameras, and larg size for SLRs and video cams.
As illustrated by the photo, the tripod works like a normal tripod, but also can be wrapped around poles, railings, or tree branches.
My philosophy of photography gear is that if it's not easy to carry and set up, then you will miss the good photos.
Photo: Jotman. I took a photo of my Gorillapod in its package -- I think this innovative company also deserves to win a packaging award.