"For this book, we recommend using NetBeans because we think it’s more intuitive and easier to use than Eclipse, especially for beginners."
Now that's a great recommendation for NetBeans IDE, on page 12 of the recently released Murach's Java Programming. It has an informative customer testimonial on its page: "I love your Java book. It cuts right to the essential information,
providing the perfect balance between too many details
and too little information. I bought another well-known
Java book, but I spent several hours trying to learn
what I learned from your book in about 45 minutes."
The book is really driven via NetBeans IDE 7 ("Starting from chapter 1, you'll take advantage of the
time-saving features that an IDE provides as you use NetBeans to create,
compile, run, test, and debug Java applications") and uses Java 7, so you'll be using the latest version of Java, together with the tools created to support it. With 23 chapters, 802 pages, 340 illustrations... it seems like a very worthwhile book to buy. I know I'm going to get it and will report back on my findings soon!