I'd second that the version lag is a non-issue. It was just half a year ago that I had a reason to upgrade to Java 5, and I don't foresee needing to go with Java 6 for quite a while, certainly not this year.
If you're developing for the desktop, you need to target what people are likely to have installed. That's not Java 6 in the short or medium term.
If you're targeting the server, then you need to realize that businesses are loth to upgrade a proven piece of infrastructure just because there's a new version out. Lots of places still run on JDK 1.4 (and some even on 1.3, if you read through the posts here on JavaRanch). I don't see a compelling business case for moving to Java 6 on the server.
So, modulo the need/wish to be living on the edge, it's just not an issue to me.
I think some people just can't tolerate being last in line, and vent their frustration with warnings about a falling sky -- perhaps hoping that mass hysteria among Mac developers will prod Apple to speed things up.
I would like to have the latest version available simply because it's interesting to see what's new. But I have exactly what I need on the Mac, so aside from never-ending speculation about what Apple might or might not do...
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org
Here's my own serious question: I've been developing exclusively on Linux and now on MacOS for about ten years. When I'm occasionally forced to use it, Windows feels like a clunky, inelegant toy, and it throws up roadblock after roadblock in the way of actual productivity. Trying to get anything done is like using a toaster oven to cook Thanksgiving dinner.
Give me any reason at all to use Windows for any kind of development?
There's an old joke that goes something like this: A man says to a lifeguard, "Are you the guy who risked his own life, swimming against perilous currents in shark-infested waters during a typhoon to save my son from drowning?" The lifeguard answers, "Yes, I am." And the man says, "Then where are his glasses?"
author and iconoclast
Still not buying it: "I need to use Windows to write Windows applications that I wouldn't have needed if I hadn't adopted Windows in order to write Windows applications".
Joined: Mar 22, 2005
"...in order to write Windows applications"
How about "... in order to make a living"? If one decides that desktop applications are more interesting than server applications, then it's easier to make money on native Windows apps than with anything else.
Note that I'm playing devil's advocate here. It's not a choice I'd make, but a valid choice nonetheless.