I am hearing good about NetBeans these days. I have tried 5.5 that one is not really a good substitute. I found that not better than Eclipse, even. But they did well, I would say. Hoping to get more good feature in coming releases. And planning to check out NetBeans 6.0 for any good.
In my opinion, NetBeans is far easier to use than Eclipse. Although Eclipse is maybe more flexible and versatile, if you need a complete IDE to start with - I recommend using NetBeans. There are many plugins for Eclipse, but finding a good and suitable one is a bit hard. One time I searched for a free plugin for JSP editing and after trying three of them I was still not satisfied. Then I installed NetBeans and... it all was there, in a bundle. Well, I have never tried IDEA :roll: It is surely time to do so...
Actually IntelliJ is as good as NetBeans. It's another IDE that works out of the box. Last time I tried the evaluation version of IntelliJ and I was quite satisfied with it. Haven't tried the new one, though. Too bad, it's not free. I just can't afford to buy it That's why I'm sticking with NetBeans.
SCJP 5.0, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCDJWS 1.4
I found IDEA 6 pretty similar to Netbeans, certainly in that concept of providing everything you need rather than the third party plugin-focused architecture (although many are available). I think that's why Eclipse's growth has been so stunted. As I remember it excelled in the JEE domain far beyond Netbeans with beautifully simple wizards to get you started.
Unfortunately, the license expired and I wasn't really familiar enough to make the case for work buying me a copy so I've stuck with Netbeans (version 6 is coming along nicely) and, to a lesser extent, Eclipse since. Shame, it seems like a great IDE if you've got the spare cash.
I was a hard-core eclipse fan till I found Netbeans 6.0. Eclipse has gone beyond an IDE. I was so frustrated to see that Visual Editor was not there in Europa. Netbeans 6 is great with its Swing Application Framework support Databinding support and more. Netbeans is aiming more at developers unlike eclipse which is aiming at commercial pluggin vendors.