Having looked a bit more, I think this is the 16-35 I not II. Although, the 17-40 still compares well to the new one too on the-digital-picture.com
Yep. it was the MkI. The 16-35 II is sharper in the corners and has less CA compared to the 17-40. At the widest angle, the 17-40mm does not perform well at all - the 16-35 is not stellar, but it's noticeably better than the 17-40 @ 17mm.
The big difference was whether or not you needed f/2.8.
This is really still the big difference. If you stop both lenses down into the f/8-f/11 range, the performance is fairly similar. But, if you'll shoot in low light with the lens (ambient lighting for interior shots, for example, or outdoors at night), the f/2.8 is the better choice, budget permitting. Unlike many faster lenses, at 16/17mm the DoF with wide apertures is not as limiting (e.g. at 16mm f/2.8 focused at 10 feet, everything from 5 feet to infinity is within the DoF).