When to buy an IDE? When to stick with Eclipse / NetBeans?

Comments to my earlier blog Eclipse vs NetBeans suggest that many users like the ready to use nature of NetBeans yet many others feel that it is some way behind Eclipse.

I wonder if things have changed with NetBeans 4.1 and its support for not just JSP/Servlet apps but full fledged J2EE apps with EJBs and web services.

Bad for NetBeans that they have arrived on the EJB scene when EJBs are no longer that popular.

However I read in James Gosling’s blog that he has been working on NetBeans 5.0 and he thinks it is pretty exciting.

Overall, the future looks bright for NetBeans. I haven’t been following Eclipse that much lately so not sure if Eclipse too is making significant progress.

Just a thought: If these free and open source IDEs start offering most things a Java J2EE developer might need, then when does one buy an IDE like WSAD, Weblogic Workshop, JDeveloper, MyEclipse…?

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