Originally Posted by bbr201
Strictly in terms of difficulty and learning curve, I believe it's a greater challenge to learn to use a visual editor competently than it is to create a GUI by hand coding. Once you are well familiar with the steps involved in designing and hand coding a GUI, and have time to invest, use of a visual editor can improve your productivity.
Using nested JPanels each with a well selected layout manager can make coding relatively complex GUIs a piece of cake, and amenable to change and improvement. A GUI coded with a visual designer, however, is married to that editor without any provision whatsoever for divorce.