Surprise: Building your next Java web app doesn't have to suck. You no longer need three miles of XML to stitch your application together. In fact, you don't need it at all. And even though Maven still needs to download the internets from time to time, you can get away with coding nowadays even without restarting your app server altogether.
In this full, three-part tutorial from ZeroTurnaround, you will see all the ingredients it takes to make this happen. If you're writing public facing web apps and would like to use a modern request-based framework instead of a component based one, using the latest tricks available, then check out this tutorial where we build an actual application using Spring, Hiberate, Maven, Eclipse, Tomcat and JRebel.
You can also download the PDF version to take home with you.