I don't feel bad for these people: it would take them all of 30 seconds to update to a browser that isn't a piece of insecure junk. It would actually make their lives noticeably better, too. They would have a much safer and much faster browsing experience with all kinds of better features. And God forbid they can enjoy even the convenience (and common sense) of tabbed browsing.
If it's companies who are the problem and are still on IE6, I still don't feel bad. Computers and/or the internet are integral part of just about every business, and if they're too lazy to put in a little bit of time making sure that the company employees have good, secure, standards-compliant, full-featured, modern, robust browsers (which is one of the most important programs on your computer), then to hell with them. I'm sure these companies use plenty of other dinosaur technology and will be left in the dust soon enough.
Seventeen percent? Come on...that's almost 1 in 5 people browsing on the Internet. Give me a break. They've all had years to at least upgrade to a newer version of garbage.
I'm willing to wager that most of the people who still use IE6 are the same people who are intimidated by using a remote control or a VCR.