I changed job recently. In this new job, it is refreshing to see Java used like in the old days, without the J2EE layers, and without the extra IBM layers of my previous job. Granted, the fresh Java approach does not apply to many projects, because a lot of apps are just about interfacing a database with a web interface. But Spring success showed that even for many of those projects, fresh Java approach with a small framework is enough.
This makes me think about people (on the net) complaining that in some job interviews, candidates were not able to tell how to get a EJB instance, etc.. Those kind of question are really stupid, as what matters much much more are EJBs concepts and concerns, i.e. what it tries to solve and how it tried to solve it, and for example, what is good/bad about it.
Java is much nicer to use in the old way. Everything seems fast to do. I am surprised it is more pleasant to work with Java in this kind of environment than in a web/J2EE environment.