I've written about the 17mm in the past. The copy you see mounted on the E-PL1 above is my second. The first copy I had was silver. I purchased it because of its small silver size and because it was considerably cheaper than the Panasonic 1.7/20mm at the time. I used it quite a bit on my E-P2 until one day its front cosmetic element fell off into a Boston street back in March of 2011.
The lens didn't stop working, but it fell out of favor when it lost a bit of itself. I was a fool to feel that way, but a friend wanted a µ4:3rds 17mm to play with so I sold him that one for $100, less than half what I'd paid for it a year before. And then a short time later I went out and got this copy, but in sexy black. Being black it blends in with all my Pen bodies a little better (so I believe), but it works no better than the silver, which is another way of saying it works as marvelously as the silver did. But I've learned my lesson (I think). This time, if the front cosmetic element falls off, the 17mm stays.
Late this evening I plopped the 17mm on the E-PL1 and went out back to grab some shots in the fading light. In spite of what you may read on the interwebs the E-PL1 and the 17mm focused and locked just fine. I used the art filters with Olympus Viewer after the fact instead of in the camera like I wanted. But I still used the art filters on Max. The combination might not be as sexy as this years new favorite, the Fuji X100s, but then it cost a fraction of what the X100s costs, and I can change the lens on it if I want. But if I didn't would that really be so bad?
All the photos after Max were taken earlier in time with the 17mm and the E-P2, E-PL1 and E-PL2 bodies. Some of them are color, some heavily post processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro 2. The M.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 is a great little lens, and it looks like the newer f/1.8 version is even better. All this fun for a fraction for what you'd spend for the Fuji, or Nikon's latest red-headed child, the Coolpix A.
In closing I'd like to point out that close up or distant, wide open or closed, the 17mm f/2.8 is every bit as good for photography on the µ4:3rds system as any other prime. Buy one and go out and have some fun.