Just a quick link to an interesting post on The Register here that discusses some 'myth busting' by two Google employees on the common myths surrounding the Java runtime/language. Very interesting reading, and a nice followup to my previous post. The The Register post links to this blog post which then links on to this interesting (powerpoint) slide deck.
In my day-to-day use of Java, I find it to be very performant, so it is quite unfair the stigma that is attached to it, that I presume arises due to the Java of yore - i.e. mid 90's Java. As noted in the links above, each Java release (we're presently at Java 1.6) achieves a very good performance boost over the previous release. As noted in the previous post, there is however very easy ways to ruin the performance of (particularly) AWT/Swing user interface applications, given the necessary use of threads, and the lack of understanding that many developers have generally towards threading, and specifically towards Java GUI threading.