I've never liked Eclipse. That's what I told myself at least. At JBoss, I used Eclipse because everyone else did. I always secretly wanted to use Netbeans, but I never had the time to invest in learning to use it properly. As I always just barely had eclipse working for me, the prospect of switching was just too daunting.
At the new job, both Eclipse and Netbeans are in use, so getting going with Netbeans was a very safe choice. Finally I could be rid of that nasty Eclipse! I spent my first couple weeks using it, and I was quite happy. Netbeans has a pleasant feel to it. It looks nice, and everything is intuitive and well-designed. The maven integration is flawless, and things just seemed to work.
Unfortunately, the more I used Netbeans, the more I found that it just couldn't keep up with Eclipse in terms of refactoring and quick fixes. No matter how well-designed Netbeans is, the Eclipse code editor actually is better able to keep up with the way I like to code better. In Netbeans I was digging through menus to find refactorings that are at my fingertips in Eclipse, and the variety of quick fixes in eclipse can't be matched. For example, if you add a parameter to a method call in Eclipse, you have the option to either alter the method signature of the called function or create a new method. Netbeans only offers to create a new method. While that may seem like a small thing, those are exactly the kinds of things make me want to use an IDE. I can build and run from the command line fine. I'm perfectly comfortable accessing my repository without an IDE, and emacs with it's programability and macros has yet to meet it's match in any IDE. The selling point for me is being able to operate on the code at a higher level. And, as good as Netbeans is, I was shocked to find that Eclipse actually works better for those things that are most important to me.
That was a really shocking revelation to me. I'd much prefer to prefer Netbeans. It has a sense of style and intuitiveness that really appeals to me. After spending all this time hating on Eclipse, I have to admit that it does a good And somehow it's the tool that actually works best for me right now.