When I was working from home , and doing blend, I took a real liking to the Sterex one piece stainless. Every bit as good as a ballet product in my opinion, and half the price.
Working with Synchro and an Isoblend probe, I can lay a wide area of destruction that can dislodge the largest of roots . I'm with you on the smaller sized probes, they are difficult to use, and a little bit floppy. I dont tend to use such small sizes very often though and rarely if ever use anything less than an F3. The f1 are mostly unuseable for me, and I dont even try, though I still have some in my clinic ( probably expire soon I should check) . There really very few reasons for using a probe so small.
I wont use Laurier. I'll have to try and lay my hands on some Ballet tapered probes as I dont think I've ever tried them.