...comparing UI to UI, NetBeans is now way ahead of Eclipse. The claim that SWT provides a more native looking interface than Swing is demonstrably false. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that the NetBeans team has a significant portion of Mac users, and the Eclipse team has none (or so close to none that I can't tell the difference).
Will this be the final word on the eternal "UI fidelity" debate? Probably not, because there are still people out there who like keeping the discussion alive as if the jury is still out (a miniature version of the jury supposedly still being out on global warming and on the harm that nicotine causes, but only according to those in whose interest it is to claim that those discussions are still alive). However, for the rest of us -- lets stop the "UI fidelity" debate in the SWT/Swing discussion. Sure there are differences, and sure there are things that are better in one over the other, but "UI fidelity" is no longer one of them.
Anyway, thanks Elliotte, I hope you'll end up enjoying NetBeans (whether or not you decide to switch) as much as I've enjoyed your great book.