Once you get used to TS-Es, you'll wish that all your lenses had those movements! But it's manual and you'll have to have a different workflow to get the best out of it. A lot of people have chimed in that it requires a bit more care because of its convex front element, but care should also be taken with water. There are hinges and slots for the movements, and they are not sealed.
Shift is easy to do handheld, but controlling the DOF precisely to throw more of the frame in focus will require live view/tripod. Exposure bracketing and post processing can simulate NDs. Whereas filters put all the work up front, the TS-17 will require less work up front but more at the backend. Yes, some filter setups are starting to come out for these lenses, but I'm not keen on carrying a bag of lenses and then another bag for the larger filters. Some can't be simulated (i.e. polarizer) but some tilt movements can't be simulated in post either. It's a trade off.
I see more of a difference between AF/MF rather than MF and tilt shift. If you don't use the TS functions, then you'll essentially have an awesome non-weather resistant MF lens...
Thanks ... I used a TS-E 24mm for over a month earlier this year and loved it. I was initially planning to get that lens but I've heard that the TS-E 17 works pretty well with the 1.4x extender so that's basically two lenses in one (with the extender attached). The 24-70 II is excellent @ 24mm where the TS functions are not required so I'm now going to get the TS-17.
The TS functions are a steep learning curve but the shots were excellent when I got it right.
I'm quite used to shooting with a tripod since I had issues with my left wrist last year. Though the ailment is gone, I find myself using the tripod more often than not so this should not be a problem.
Still feel that not having the option to use filters is a bummer so I will have to improve my PP ... I guess one can't have everything