This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
Personally, my choice would be to give your Java object a outputToXML( PrintStream ) method and a constructor that takes an XML Element and extracts the data it needs. This is guaranteed to be faster than any other approach. Bill