If emacs isn’t your thing, or you prefer a modern IDE (read: GUI) for development, I recommend IntelliJ IDEA. An open-source, community edition was just released, and it is definitely worth giving a spin – I’ve been a fan since I first tried it a couple of years ago.
Being at a university where the first language taught is Java, but transferring from an institution where C++ was dominant was a bit of a pain. IntelliJ got me through my Java-based courses. I tried and managed with Eclipse and NetBeans for the first semester – but we were given a significant initial framework.