You may want to check out this post which seems similar to what you are asking: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/332406.
I am familiar with HTML and CSS and have many more hours under Adobe LiveCycle Designer. Having read your post, I would think it far more simple to create the necessary form in HTML and use a pre-existing HTML database option that stores the data for you. A 17 page form in Adobe Acrobat will take you many hours to setup. Once setup, you will be forced to write code or perform some other type of advanced formatting to get it to interface with a database. Unless your client is specifically requesting adobe forms, I would personally recommend HTML as I think it will be easier.
Hope this helps. If I have answered your question, please click on answered question so that I get the points.
Thanks for the help
Your welcome. Thank you.