I know it isn't very popular to mention it at the ranch, but Netbeans is really pretty good at helping you do Swing. I tend to keep my frames and dialogs fairly simple and in those cases the code generated is more than "good enough". You really do have the drag-and-drop capability of Visual Basic.
One of the plusses is a nice graphical editor for GridBag layout which, for me, makes that layout actually usable. It supports all the layouts I ever needed (up through Java 1.3).
I follow the discussions on the newsgroup for Netbeans and there isn't a lot of complaining about the Swing support. (J2EE and the related technologies certainly have more issues.) The only minus I can think of concerning Swing is they haven't yet included support for the "Springs" layout of Java 1.4.
Now, on the other hand, I have a very involved main form with a complex menu structure. For that one I chose to use a mediator and a command pattern to separate the menu display from the rest of the program code as recommended in Fowler's book. Netbeans didn't interfere with me as I did that, but it certainly didn't help with the process either.
Also, like Java, it is free. I think the learning curve was reasonable. Recommendation -- take a look at it.