Does J2EE provide an advantage over .NET when it comes to database connectivity? I thought both would work with the major players.
I don't think the connection between portability and SW quality you speak of goes the other way. Loose coupling and abstraction can enable portability, but portability doesn't enable loose coupling or abstraction.
I'm not convinced yet that .NET will be a less portable environment to develop in. It just won't use bytecodes and VMs to achieve portability, which is where most of the speed benefit comes from.
I've read that it doesn't support dynamic binding very well. I think if anything in .NET will have a negative impact on sofware quality, that will be it.
Someday we'll get the combination right. I fear that the Smalltalkers will be waiting for us, laughing.