I used to be enamored with the 17 HMR but could never bring myself to buy one. Mainly because of the reviews people posted concerning lack of energy at 100 yards coupled with the fact that the wind could put it in the next county at that range (not really but the drift is pretty bad).
If your looking for small caliber rifle that has some "umph", check out the .22 mag. It has enough retained energy to kill coyote at 100 yards. Some will debate that and say there are better rounds but the fact remains that it can.
Now, if you have your heart set on a new .17, I'd say take a peek at the new .17 WSM. It is 2X the gun that the HMR is at about the same price. Granted the 17 WSM wont be out for about another month or so but I think it will be worth the wait.
Good luck with your search