Over time I have become disillusioned with Java and the effort to produce an Open Source JVM and clean-room Java libraries.
Despite the massive popularity of Java and Microsoft technologies, there are many alternative high-level languages available to programmers today:
Python is very popular and a powerful tool for rapid development of small projects. Squeak Smalltalk is a versatile graphical development environment which also allows rapid prototyping. The best thing about Squeak is the ability to modify code and have the system updated immediately.
I also looked at slate, a modern incarnation of Smalltalk that has a more powerful dispatch system (allowing better organization of code) and uses prototyping instead of a class hierarchy.