To find out "how uxga is going to make things appear smaller", you should specify which screens you wish to compare.
Each screen is specified by its diagonal length, the aspect ratio (width to height), and native resolution. For comparing sizes of the same objects (fonts, icons, etc.), the most important parameter is the number of pixels per inch (PPI).
For instance, your screen is 14.1", 4:3 aspect ratio, SXGA+ 1400x1050, so it has 124 PPI, as can be seen from a table in Tommi's compendiumhttp://www.hut.fi/~tgustafs/screensize.html
Since 15.4" WSXGA+ has 129 PPI, it reduces sizes relative to your screen by 124/129 = 96.1% (thus few users would notice this reduction).
In contrast, 15.4" WUXGA has 147 PPI, and its reduction of 124/147 = 84.4% is quite large.
On the other hand, 15" UXGA has 133 PPI, so its reduction of 129/133 = 97% is small.
So in simpler terms, if your friend considers 15" UXGA (4:3 aspect ratio), your notebook will indicate what sizes to expect.
Considering your "advice", let me observe the following. I guess you wrote 1600x1400 instead of 1600x1200 (UXGA), and that you were thinking of a standard 4:3 aspect ratio screen. However, 17" 4:3 UXGA has 118 PPI, so relative to flockey86's screen, it blows up sizes by 124/118 = 105%. I don't know how this should help his friend.
I guess you were thinking about running a WUXGA screen at the non-native resolution of 960x600. However, I don't know any combination of video cards and drivers which support such resolutions.