The Time for Java Is Now
If you decide against learning Java, don't do it for the wrong reasons. Don't do it because you think Java is only about applets, or that it's slow. Today's Java compilers produce code that beats C++ on some benchmarks, and is plenty fast enough even for demanding programs. Understand that Java means productivity, compatibility, and maintainability.
If you want to see just how good-looking and fully featured Java applications can be, download JDiskReport from jGoodies.com. This free utility analyses the way your hard disk and its directories are used. Apart from being an excellent demonstration of cross-platform Java (the same download runs on any computer you have), it's also a very handy utility.