Poll doesn't work for me either, there just isn't a primary since it depends on the conditions.
If I know I'm going to be static like backyard boids it is on a Wimberley, if I'm mobil like the zoo or auto race it is a monopod.
I have had the 200-400vr for almost three years. It was one of my first lenses. Living in south Florida I've needed a good lens for the great birds we have down here.
I am pretty old and female and still can get some good shots with it handheld. At least I know I can get them so can run out when I see a good bird in the backyard.
When I go to Ding Darling or the Venice Rookery I set it up on my tripod with the Wimberley. That works very well. I don't use it much on the monopod but have done that. In that case I'd also use the Wimberley.
My preferences would be the tripod/Wimberley first and handheld second.
Many times when I use it handheld I'll sit down and use my knees as the tripod or I'll stand and lean up against a wall or tree.
I would never let this great lens go. It is so versatile that it's become a good friend and I can count on it any way I use it. I would not use it on a ballhead because the Wimberley works very well and it is so secure.
Monopod every time, unless there is a compelling reason to reconsider. It is so much easier than setting up tripod legs walking for 6-7hrs. Yet takes weight off your back and shoulders when you shoot. I snap 2) camera straps end to end as a "backup" so they do not pull on my neck, but if something happened, the lens would only fall about a foot before the strap caught it.
Check back in a couple weeks. I ordered the "big Wimberley" today, along with the new Gitzo with anti-rotation legs. This might increase my use with a tripod, not having to fool with a ball head, sidekick, and tripod legs that always seem to kick my *#@.
Your poll really doesn't work well for me, as both I and my wife use the lens at times. When we shoot together, she is the primary user of the lens, mostly on a tripod with a Jobu Jr. Compact Gimbal. Just a couple of weeks ago she learned to use it with a beanbag out the car window, he really cool close-up burrowing owl was shot this way. She never hand-holds the lens.
I, on the other hand, use it as my "hand-hold" rig when I am out by myself. I just posted an Osprey thread today with several hand-held shots from the 200-400 when the 400+TC-17E was too "long". During youth sports I shoot it off a monopod almost exclusively, it is just too heavy to carry running up and down a field.
Paul,Thanks for the input, John. Now that you've got the big Wimberly, you'll have to get a 600mm AFS to really put it to use!
Let me know how it goes.