17 +/-2 degrees on the sticker is for high altitude. The EGR is different on the high altitude cars, not sure about the rest of the emission components. Have you checked your plugs and gapped them to .035"? If you are at sea level the gap is 9 degrees I think. Add 1 or 2 degrees for each thousand feet above sea level to the timing. Make sure that your cap and rotor are in good shape and that all of the ignition wires are clipped in place on the cap and plugs.
A vacuum leak will cause rough running. The vacuum control on the vacuum canister can be a hidden leak as can the vacuum to the brake booster. The brake booster vacuum hose can have a leak from rubbing ont he valve cover, the grommet at the booster can leak or the booster can have an internal leak.
Also the spacer under the carb can crack or be mounted loose and the carb hold down bolts can loosen causing a vacuum leak. You can try removing all of the vacuum lines from the vacuum ports and capping off all vacuum ports on the manifold and try idling and giving it gas in the driveway to see if it runs better. Don't try driving it with the vacuum disconnected from the brake booster or you may not be able to stop it.
If it idles and revs smoother with the vacuum ports plugged, then add them back one at a time and retest the idle and reving to see which vacuum line is causing the problem.