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"straight up" - best is in the eye of the beholder.
If you want to use Oracle ADF - JDeveloper is better.
If you want to be more on the cutting edge of Java (Java 7, for example), Netbeans is better.
If you have some other requirement, one or the other may be better.
NetBeans just seems easier to use, easier to Understand. NetBeans gets my vote.
Eclipse (Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse) should be included in the choice list of Java IDEs, not just NetBeans and JDeveloper.
Edited by: dvohra16 on Dec 24, 2012 2:36 PM
Netbeans is a good tool certainly. it depends on how productive you want to be.
When I compare how easy it is to create fully functional web pages with little effort and minimal programming, Jdeveloper beats netbeans hands down.
Granted, a terrible application can be created in any application. however, with Jdeveloper, you have more time to concentrate on developing a better use experience because you have spent less time fiddling with the "plumbing."
If you want to be a traditional java developer, netbeans.