Just a quick heads-up to anyone looking for a portable-but-sturdy BG stand/crossbar setup on a budget: LumoPro is doing an instant rebate on their MF613 background kit. A good deal at $150, the rebate takes it to $125.
Mine sees near constant use (in several different ways) and has held up great. The rigid crossbar can be used in 2, 3 or 4 sections. Above, it is set up 3-wide to support a queen-sized diffusion sheet.
Almost all of LumoPro's grip gear is on instant rebate through October 31st. The background stand kit is about 2/3 of the way down on the list, here.