Oh I take it extremely seriously. It's come close to ending a game a few times when I was Axis. But against decent ppl it only has the surprise factor and dies rather easily to ISG, infantry, AT guns or even Ele/Jagdtiger duelling it out. Not to mention call-ins after Brace is gone.....
It;s all depends on enemy build. It's pointless when axis spams leigs/mortars but sometimes happens that they have only 1 stuka and a lot of heavy/medium tanks. It can punish them heavily.
Help me win vs some top players and even killed elefant. People are too cocky when they have heavies on the field and they don't realize how much damage 1 or 2 shots of 17p can do to a vehicule.
But again, 17p has brace which can survive gustav barrage, stumtiger shot, leFH etc, when pak43 only counts on good placement behind sightblocker. Especially soviets has so many tools to kill or simply decrew that building it often ends with just loosing resources.
I would really prefer pak43 to not be decrew.