Choosing the right irons is a big decision, both financially and for your game. It is important that you feel good about your clubs because it is hard to play well if you hate your tools. This has to be tempered by understanding that all the manufacturers make "game improvement" clubs because they are genuinely easier to hit well than are the "player's" clubs that have smaller heads, thinner top lines, and less offset.
Not many years ago everyone used blades because that was all they had and some got to be good golfers, so it is certainly possible for most people to learn to play well enough with darn near any club. It will just be easier with some than others. The big attraction to "player's" clubs is that they are easier to 'work' than GI clubs. You can still 'work' GI clubs, but they do tend to encourage a straight shot or only mild draws or fades, which is a very good think for most people. Easier to 'work' also means easier to hit in an unexpected direction. At a 17 handicap your game still needs "improvement" and straight shots will serve you very well, so in my humble opinion, you will hobble yourself at least somewhat if you don't play the clubs that are available to make improvement a little easier. Don't worry, golf is still hard.
The Mizuno EZ clubs are good if you can get past the look. Their 825 irons are, to my eye, much better looking. I'm a Titleist fan, so I'd suggest you look at the AP1s. While they're "game improvement" clubs, they tend to have less offset than some of the other GI lines and generally have a nice traditional look. The 714s just came out and you may find some deals (probably unadvertised) on 712 models as well as used clubs that may turn up on the market.
My final thought is that, while we all like new toys, myself certainly included, your surest route to "buying a better game" is to spend the bucks on lessons. If you can find a decent teacher I'd suggest taking some lessons and getting his/her take on what sort of irons would be a good fit for you at this point, or if they even think you need new sticks right now. Lessons will do you much more good than new clubs. Don't restrict it to one or two. Pretty much every top pro on the tour has a "swing coach" on retainer.