Or rather, writing GUI programs in Java.

For fun, I like to write "toy" programs and small utilities (yeah, I know, busman's holiday and all that). Given GUI OSes these days, such programs are best done with a GUI front-end. Java's Swing provides such a beast.

However, it seems one has few options to quickly create a GUI program and get to the meat of the program. You can spend much time learning all about Swing and hand-coding everything. You can stop at NetBeans 7.0 and use the now-dropped Swing Application Framework. You can spend much time learning about the Netbeans Platform (and spend much money on the book).

Apparently Eclipse provides for GUI builder plug-ins. Which one to use is another question.

I come from a Delphi background (Delphi 1 through 7 or so), so I figured there ought to be an easy-to-get-started-with application framework somewhere. There was -- SAF -- but that's not supported any more.

What other GUI development tools are out there?

What are others' opinions on any of this?

Fred