This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
Sourceforge.net provides a good place for gaining software development experiences. But commercial java applications are relatively very small in numbers compared with PHP applications. You can consider to start a new project and transform those concepts in PHP applications into java struts application for example.