I have about seven years experience in java up until two years ago when I jumped into the RoR world. I'm looking to get back up to speed in the j2ee world quickly would like to get a handle on how much has changed.
I think the biggest change/addition to Java has been annotations. Web Services and EJB are much easier to build and deploy by using annotations. Even these large contains like BEA WebLogic read annotations when building your application by using their properitary ANT Task. This will update the deploy files like the web.xml and the application.xml so you do not have too. There is more, take a look at this and autocasting!