10-06-2013, 06:01 AM
As a Java enthusiast (but who doesn't have that much time) and used both Netbeans (for a short time) and Eclipse, I'd say Eclipse is better. And actually does not have a very steep learning curve.
If you are determined to use Eclipse, one thing I'd suggest is, learn it while you are learning Java. You can solve the problems as they occur. Eclipse community is a nice and big place where the problem you encounter was already encountered by many, and thus, solved by many in so many different ways. Sites like stackexchange have tons of questions about Eclipse as well, which means you won't have any difficulties when it comes to problem solving.
Unless you don't move your whole project set to another place or decide to use an older JDK with projects you used a newer one, Eclipse does not cause much problems.
Eclipse add-ons might a little pain sometimes. Like, WindowBuilder Pro, a somehow buggy plugin to visually design windows using Swing. Of course, I bet people already encountered the problems you are going to encounter.
All I'm trying to say is, don't try to master Eclipse. You'll master it as you are mastering Java. It is not as overwhelming as it seems.