I think I forgot to post a note about the LWJGL project we’ve developed.
If you’re interested in writing games in Java, but otherwise generally appalled at the pitiful performance or download bloat, surf on down to http://java-game-lib.sourceforge.net/
It uses OpenGL1.4, OpenAL1.0, some trivially simple code for setting up fullscreen displays, similarly easy code for reading mouse and keyboard, and some scary maths in a vector library for doing fast maths on appropriate processors. It is entirely independent of the AWT, which means you can natively compile your Java games using the various native compilers out there and redistribute the binaries without having to have a whole JRE tacked on
Currently it’s in alpha and only Win32, but functional, and we’d like some bug reports and suggestions. Some features are not implemented yet, like joystick support.
Go for it!