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Competitive Java 2D performance?

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Hi folks,
I want to write a program that draws, scales, rotates, ... vector graphics. I would love to do this in Java but I'm a bit concerned about the rendering performance of the 2D API and so I'm looking for some expertise about this.
After blazing the "2D Graphics" trail of Sun's "Java Tutorial" and reading the "2D Programmer's Guide" I know how to do the basic and some advanced stuff like antialiasing, double buffering etc.. However, rendering does not perform the way I would expect it to do.
So here are my questions:
1. Does the JVM take advantage of technologies like OpenGL or DirectX?
2. Does the JVM take advantage of hardware accelleration provided by modern video adapters?
3. Do you know a good website that addresses fast 2D programming in Java?
4. Do you think it's worth digging into Java 2D API or would you recommend to bite the bullet and do all that with native code?
I know that the answers depend on what performance I actually want to achieve ) However, may be there is someone who has faced similar questions and can give some general advice.
Thanks for help!
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