Pete, when we built the columns on the front of our J Series home we felt they were very large, almost huge. But, as a designer myself I understand that proportions and balance are necessary. We considered reducing the size but opted to trust the design, and now that we've lived here for a year they're grown on us. From a distance they “feel” correct. Up close, they still feel a bit big, but they've grown on us (no pun intended). We too have an amazing view of the lake out the back and decided to not do tapered columns in back, so as to not minimize the view. We felt a loss of view on the front of the house, when looking out the front kitchen window, and we didn't want that to occur in the back. We just left the 8x8 treated posts and we're very happy that decision. You can view pics of our home at http://www.flickr.com/photos/40809799@N04/sets/72157621832324998/. We can't begin to tell you how much we love this house. Can't find much fault in this plan at all. A couple of tweaks here and there, but for the most part, we love it.