I think that the SCJP 1.5 exam is the better exam at this point. Here's why:
1 - It's much broader than the 1.4 exam - probably something like 30% more topics. 2 - It focuses more on the API, and understanding how to reference and use the API is an important skill for all Java programmers. 3 - It covers important parts of the language that were introduced with Java 1.5 (generics, autoboxing, enums, etc.) Sooner or later all Java programmers will start to encounter these features.
Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)