Mark Watson has got it spot on:
Sure, with Java you give up late binding, continuations, etc. However, the awesome and free tools like Tomcat, Prevayler, SOAP/XML-RPC/REST libraries, incredible development tools like IntelliJ, etc. make using Java a slam dunk for some types of projects.
Popularity in a programming language can be a good thing, and Java definitely has popularity.
I have always respected people’s choice in programming languages and tools. Unlike a lot of people on Slashdot, I think that knocking someone’s choice in programming language is as silly as dissing on their politics, choice of mates, or religion.
Diversity is what makes the world interesting.
Java is a great language, is very useful, has many great developers and minds, and is pushing things in many areas (AOP, TDD, etc).
However, there are many other great languages and environments. One of the more exciting aspects of Java is that fact that it is a platform. There is the JVM, and there are APIs. These have nothing to do with the language itself.
So, if I don’t need a static experience, I can write that piece of code in Groovy/Jython/JRuby/insert your favourite here.
Learning a new language syntax is easy. What is normally hard is groking all of the libraries. Now, we know a lot of Java libraries so we can get up and running fast!