17" isn't very large at all. but it depends on what you use the computer for and what you appreciate in a monitor. do you like high refresh rates? high resolutions? a flat screen? large viewable size? color accuracy? apprearance? and, of course, cost is an issue.
in general, i'd stay away from sony and brands that use sony trinitron tubes. imo, trinitron is overrated. mitsubishi's diamondtron tube is quite a bit better.
viewsonic is always a safe bet, too. i have the A95f which is a 19" flat crt. i've had it for about 2 years and it's wonderful.
they're all flat crt's. only the first one is a 17". the last two got good reviews here: The Iiayama Vision Master Pro 454 turned out to be a really pleasant surprise, with outstanding image quality and stability. We are accustomed to this manufacturer providing an attractive quality/ price ratio, but sometimes to the detriment of quality. With the Vision Master Pro 454, they have combined a cost advantage with an intelligent adaptation of the Diamontron High Brightness tube. Right along side it is the ViewSonic P95f, at the same price and with the same outstanding image quality and stability.