Re: Seats in the upright position
Qatar Business class have them - knowing I would be on an execrable 787 for 9 hours was enough to make me upgrade. Normally, I simply avoid booking any flight which as a 787 (in this case, I'd not been paying attention to the fact that they'd recently changed it from a 330.) Horrible, noisy, cramped, plasticky aircraft the 787.
Anyway, to be vaguely on point - I average about two short-haul flights a week and make a long haul trip to Asia every couple of months (usually stacking up two or three countries into one round-trip) for work, and almost always travel economy. Anything up to around 4 hours is no bother at all, 7 hours bearable, and 9 hours is reaching "I'm going crazy" (I'm 6'3", and economy seats aren't fun.) So for those Asia trips I almost always split the journey into two legs and spend a night or two somewhere en-route. A couple of nights in a good hotel is almost always cheaper than an upgrade to Business (and you can normally get much cheaper flights anyway with a change), and the chance of a few 'free' weekend breaks in cities you might otherwise never see is one of the few perks of having too much international business travel (which is otherwise a grind.)
I'm not remotely surprised Qantas can't sell tickets on that 17 hour marathon flight of theirs. It's the wrong plane (an A380 might just be bearable - Emirates' are a pleasure to fly on even in economy) and just too long. Nobody in their right mind is doing that distance out and back for one day there, so there's basically no real cost to breaking the journey up with a layover or two.