if you're struggling with something like screen real estate then you're probably using the IDE wrong. Most IDE's have collapsible panels. My NetBeans setup is a glorified text editor with the project management view (files and directories and such) all collapsed as i don't want to see these constantly. Eclipse has this feature as well.
Emacs and vim are great tools for quickly editing a file and updating some code on a remote linux box. I use vim every day, but managing a huge project with total 10k lines of code distributed over hundreds of files with a tool like vim is a nightmare. For working on projects, go with and IDE like Eclipse or Netbeans, especially if you're doing multiple mini-projects. For small "hello world" apps that aren't gonna do much intensive stuff, use vim.
As for the debate between Netbeans or Eclipse, its a matter of personal choice. I have worked with both and I prefer using Netbeans (I'm still a bit green and Netbeans has been a huge help). The more expert coders have been known to use Eclipse but I'm not too crazy about the whole feel for it.