Ive only had mine for a little more then a week but I will answer with my own personal experience. No I would not consider it "flimsy" the screen deosent bend or at least mine hasnt, but yes it does fall from the angle you want it due to weight, or at least mine did. Sitting flat on my table I can put it to any angle and it will stick no problem but sometimes when i am sitting in my bed or on the floor I like to have my knees up so that the keyboard follows my knees and the screen is in front of me the screen likes to fall. (I dont know if I explained that well enough). Basically if you have the laptop at an angle more then 30 degrees the screen will most likely fall under the weight (Or at least mine does). If you have the screen as far back as you can it wont fall until about 65 degree angle.
The 17" is definitely a love or hate proposition simply because of the size. Most people I know who have one thought it would be great to have such a large screen, but soon tire of lugging the thing around. It is a very large laptop.
I'd certainly agree with that ^. Mine is really an around-the-house portable, I don't take it out, it is rather large perhaps, feels solid though and not much heavier I think than the 15" just in terms of weight - might be slight overkill for students?
My lid is fairly solid. The only times I have had it move from position are when i pick the thing up and move it rapidly upward (like moving it off a desk with the screen open). It always seems to close when I do that. If I move it slowly then it seems to do alright.
17" is HUGE! I don't mind carrying it to school. That's why I bought a parking pass to park closer to the buildings where I have class.