Just a follow-up to my own question;
I've spent a little more time using the JDK in conjunction with TextPad and it does show some promise. The code is actually color-coded allowing for easier reading. When run through a compiler, errors come up allowing for quicker trouble-shooting...but I've found myself a mislead on a couple of occasions.
All in all, I did find it to be a useful tool, though a little awkward to get used to. I'd still like to hear from someone who does this for a living. Is this the norm or are JAVA programmers using something else as the standard?
Either way it was an educating expiriance and would recommend it for someone wanting to try something new.