...anyone REGRET the 17" and wish they had not opted for it?
Good luck finding them As the #1 17" computer on the market sold by the company with the highest customer satisfaction and least amount of hardware issues... I doubt many people are going to tell you they 'regret' buying the 17". I personally own an early 08 15" 2.5GHz MBP and having ordered some 17" MBPs for work I'll likely stay with the 15" for one main reason, the 15" size is perfect for my work. My camera bag is rated to carry a 17" laptop... Maybe I'll try the 17" but it is big.
In short, I would recommend the 17" if you're not going to be taking it everywhere with you. Otherewise, get the 17" if you can afford it.