Re: Yeah right
"Compare performance of two applications once they are actually running and it's good. Compare start-up time and it's often bad."
I have to agree with the OP - i've still not seen any reasonably computationally intensive code, outside of a few isolated routines or synthetic benchmarks, that run anything like as fast using Java over C/C++ or Fortran. Some GUI apps do a remarkably good job and i'm not knocking it as a useful language, especially due to its run-time nature and cross platform support, but once the heavy lifting starts it's a no-go. From personal experience or second hand feedback numerical simulations, search algorithms, things with deep stacks or lots of branching, anything which has significant string manipulation and creation, anything needing any type of time/response guarantee (think GC).. all perform poorly against (half decent) native code.
Java's fine, not without its quirks but what language isn't, but all this continual willy-waving about being as fast as X or native this-or-that is un-necessary and rather obscures it's true strengths (IMO).