Well, that world never really came to fruition, but Katherine Noyes isn't afraid to exorcise old ghosts in her article on The Life Expectancy of Linux, which includes the assertion that the Java Optimized Complier just might be the next thing down the pipe; A very long pipe, but down the pipe nevertheless.
Personally, I like to avoid the discussion of the JOP, because it tends to solve the problem of 'why is Java so slow?,' and to be honest, I think we've pretty much put that problem behind us. The article is an interesting read though, if only to make you start thinking about 'what is next?' or 'how could things be better?' Still, I'm not holding my breath for the JOP.