Using request.setAttribute ensures that the userList object is stored in request scope (i.e. will be visible in the JSP for example that the action forwards to). I would recommend using the source forge "display tag" to render the list on the jsp (http://displaytag.sourceforge.net/11/). this will automatically paginate your data, you can customise its look and feel also. it's very easy to use
you should never really be displaying excessive information on a jsp anyways, give the user a search facility to narrow it down or use display tag.