I think its purely a matter of opinion. There are alot of good IDE's out there. My personal favorites and I've only used them sparingly are Forte and JBuilder. Now what I use on a constant basis to program is the Jext editor and the command line. There is a good article now on www.javalobby.com which is talking about IDE's for Java. You may take a look at that to see what others are saying. Frank
And don't forget that JavaRanch has a search facility. If you search for the name of an IDE (Forte, JBuilder, Kawa etc.), or for "IDE", "editor" or "development envirinment", you'll find lots of previous discussions.