And it's likely that no one will ever miss it.
Apple was the first manufacturer to add a 17-inch laptop to its lineup in 2003 -- the largest screen available from any vendor at the time -- and has had one ever since. But with the new wide-screen, ultrahigh-resolution Retina Display, those extra couple inches might be irrelevant.
After all, mobility is key now, not screen size. It used to be you needed a larger laptop to get performance good enough to replace a desktop, but that's no longer the case. (I mean, look at Apple's tag line above the new models.)
A 15-inch screen is plenty for most purposes when you're traveling, and when you're not, you can connect into an external display. And really, look at how much people can get done on the 9.7-inch iPad screen and 3.5-inch iPhone screen.
What do you think? Is there still a need for a 17-inch MacBook? Do you think it'll make a return when Apple can offer a more affordable 17-inch Retina version?