Microsoft has always been good at getting things up quickly, but to keep it up is what is most important.
"Visual Studio .NET outshines Sun's starter kit."
I think what people should really be interested in is if .NET ourshines JAVA, and not how a free starter kit compares with a full IDE environment. Thank you for making that point early in your article... "although .NET is a huge improvement over the old Microsoft way, it makes only incremental improvements over J2EE".
You do say, "Maybe it's wrong to compare the Visual Studio .NET distribution to the Sun ONE Starter Kit", and you're right.
Over the past 22 years in the computer business, I have found that those that don't really know what is going on under the covers are more often only succesful at getting things up quickly. However, those that have gone throught the entire process of understanding how things go togther rather than using a full blown IDE run into problems they can't fix later.