As your post points out, it's obvious that "the Cloud" is a valuable skill. That term means many things, but although I've been hearing the same things for the last 5 years I've only had the chance to mess with running virtual machines on the public cloud for the past couple months. Why? Time didn't permit me the luxury of exploring it myself, and only recently has my employer decided to it's a priority and paid me to work on it. My bet is that a lot of technology professionals feel that way. I know this sounds cliché, but getting laid off may be the best thing that ever happened for your career. Take the skills you know and add on some pretty deep exploration of cloud technologies. Up to you, but since you mentioned Java you might start with Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk (deploy
If you want to be really hip, we've used JRuby to deploy Rails applications to beanstalk, there's a "Hello World" tutorial from Amazon here: http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2011/02/rack-and-the-beanstalk.html
I'm sure there are other free or low cost options out there as well. Even unemployed, your time is very valuable so use it to your advantage.