Thanks for the links, Bear! I'll definitely have to spend some time digging through those forums.
I just noticed that Virtual PC requires 512 MB of RAM , and many users complain about how monsterously slow it is. Perhaps because they have no RAM left for anything else? Anyway, this is looking like a bad solution -- especially with Virtual PC priced at over $200 (not including additional RAM).
It seems that Mac developers really do need to wait for Apple to deliver the latest Java, and trust that Apple will continue to do so in the future.
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org