The timing of this article is ironic...I just tried Eclipse (and RH Dev Studio and JBoss IDE both Eclipse based) and NetBeans 5.5.1 this weekend. A few years back I considered myself a pretty good Java developer but then I switched to a new contract and had to learn MS
.NET and C# (don't hold that agaisnt me please). This weekend I decided to dive back in to Java and thought that an IDE might be nice to try (previously I used VIM with CTAGS which was fast and all I needed at the time). At first, I tried Eclipse directly and must say that I wasn't so fond of its performance....if not slow then at least it is not fast, it has a billion menus and no intuitive way to find what you need (XDoclet sucks unless you are very familiar with it and all its options). Then on a whim I decided to try NetBeans 5.5.1. That tool is great (IMHO)! It is faster than Eclipse on my machine, has a layout that makes sense to me, and has a bunch of good getting started guides that really help you to learn the IDE (and for me to get me going with Java again since it's been a few years).