NetBeans continues to toy with my fantasies. It is simpler than Eclipse, and far more humane. There are no Eclipse quirks, like having to reconfigure your environment whenever you want a different workspace. And the visual editor, which builds off of the Swing Application Framework, allows you to do slam together a few components together to try things out.
But the quality! Ugh! There were 2-3 moments today alone where the editor simply froze when doing editing. I am not sure who is making the QA decisions for Sun, but these kinds of experiences leave me asking do they care? Which is sad, because I'm sure they do — but someone won the argument to ship it.
In the end, NetBeans is now my Prototyper. I use it to create prototypes, particularly for GUIs. Once I get familiar with what I want, however, everything gets transferred to Eclipse.
What I find interesting is that I haven't really bitched about this, other than this blog.
There is a lesson here for other products. If people start having problems with your products, they will probably start finding a workaround. And not tell you.
For Java editors, where you have the Eclipse beast — lots of crap, but free, and generally works — I seriously doubt there's a market for competition. And so we are left with this: feel like you are overpaying for a product, or getting used to workarounds.