“But the Java language just doesnâ€™t seem like the interesting thing about Java, these days.”
I wish more Java programmers would agree to this. One of my observations at JFokus the other day was that a lot of people really like Java the language, and are going through hoops to implement their ideas in it.
Stephan Janssen has created a kick ass new version of parleys.com in Flex/Air, but he wants to redo it all in JavaFX script, just so that it is Java. Rickard Öbergs new framework for composite oriented programming could be useful, but in my opinion it introduces enough new concepts to qualify for a whole new language. Lipsticking on top of Java makes it feel verbose and clumsy. After a year of Ruby I have very little patience for Java interfaces.