First I have to extend many thanks to all the contributors to this excellent site - notice that my number of posts is not high at all, this is because this site has such a large amount of quality information. With a little creative and persistant searching I found many of the answers to my study questions already posted and replied to !
My only study text was Mughal and Rasmussen's "Programmer's Guide to Java Certification" 2nd ed. As was noted by many others, they assume some programming background and in general the text and the exercises were not easy however I found this to be well worth it !
As far as mock exams are concerned, I did what seem to be the "standards" when looking at many posts - Marcus Green, Bill Brogden, Dan Chisholm. Yes it's true Dan's tests are harder than the exam but if you do what he suggests and treat them as learning tools, you will find his explanations and in fact the whole experience very valuable. I usually scored in the high 70's or low 80's on Dan's tests compared to the real 93%. I also did Valentin Crettaz's exam - this might not be for everyone since his questions are much harder than the real thing. If you are not easily discouraged by the number of wrong answers you will get, his explanation are actually the "deepest" I found and his links to the JLS and the API hit their mark every time ! My final 3 mock exams were from the CD that came with Mughal's text - I found the two Whizlabs practice exams to be quite close to the real exam, and Mughal's exam was a bit harder (I got in the high 80's on it).
Thanks again to all who have contributed to this site - you were a very important resource in arriving at my exam result !