Not being a fan of Mozilla's constant version bumping I had stuck with certain items for a long time.
Been using Thunderbird 3.1.20 but finally decided to go to 17.x on Windows XP. Version 17 was all over the place. There was no titlebar and attempts at resizing tbird caused it to grow and shrink. I clicked on the maximize button and it started running all over the screen from top to bottom and right to left (dual monitors so it had a lot of room to run). Strangest thing ever.
Did a search and found this as the most recent thread concerning WB and TB. I fixed the problem and everything is now back to normal as when I was using 3.1.20 and briefly 10.#esr.
Firstly I had to exclude thunderbird.exe from WB. Once started (still no titlebar but at least it stood still) I went into config editor and looked around for things I thought might be an issue such as gfx, accel, render, etc (like when FF 4 came out). Nothing there. Since I didn't like the location of the tabs I also looked to see if there was an option for that. That's when I found the following:
mail.tabs.drawInTitlebar (set to True by default)
So that's why everything was strange. Tabs and titlebar were essentially one. Set it to false, closed tbird, removed tbird from WB's exclusion, and restarted. TB 17 started up just fine with skinned titlebar and no running around or sizing problems.
So now I'm good. Also I've decided that if I'm going to use Moz products I'll go the esr route. Stick with one major version for awhile while still getting security fixes and whatnot.