Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: SF Bay Area, California
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You also want to consider cockpit length. How's the reach on the 17" frame? Are you too upright? Not stretched out enough. This can partly be addressed through stem and seatpost changes, but that's not necessarily advisable if you favor the steering characteristics of a shorter stem.
It could be that the Marin simply isn't the frame for you. At your size, it seems unusual that you would have so little standover clearance on a 17" frame.
For reference, my wife rides a 15.5" Marin, but she is 5'6" and has a 31" inseam (also, it's not a hardtail, but it's the ETT that fit her).
Personally, I'd try out some other brands for the sake of comparison.