You might want to try Ruby on Rails. We use it for small and medium size customers. The ramp up is much faster than the typical Java (Hibernate + Spring + Struts 2) stack and for many types of projects the development time is shorter. For larger bank type projects we use enterprise Java solutions.
We had J2EE project fail, we just didn't have the staff and the know how.
Welcome Darin! The FAQ is a good place to learn about the site. You may want to join some of the interest groups such as Flex Developers, Java Developers and Rails Hackers. We hope you find TechHui useful and invite others.