I got both a genuine Manfrotto 323 and the 12$ ebay clone and took some pictures for you to compare. The Manfrotto one looks more valuable. The release lever of the clone is a bit loose bit holds the plates in very well. The Manfrotto plates fit the clone very well too.
I think the clone is good enough for what I’m doing with it so I will stick with it.
I had parts of an old Durst enlarger and a friend needs a column stand for her animation work. I bought a Manfrotto 323 quick change plate + adapter. After some cutting, drilling, thread taping and a really terrible welding job an arm to mount the 323 was made.
With this the 323 can be attached to the column with the necessary distance.
To ease working a bit further I made an foot pedal based remote shutter release + adapter for Canon SLR.