While Web-Development with Java is supported by a variety of great frameworks it is still not easy (even tedious) to, firstly, choose the right ones for a given problem and, secondly, make them work together. (needless to refer to all the envious appraisals of RoR and, yes, even Visual-Studio by Java-developers).
I've set up a Sourceforge project, called KickStart, (first download available right now!). It's goal is to get newbies started with the most cutting edge JEE-stuff immediately, and even more important, to provide a platform to discuss the non-trivial task of glueing together the most powerful of the existing Java-frameworks into something that "just works". I believe that all the interesting problems (and solution-patterns) of framework integration patterns recurring in mailing lists and wikis deserve being collected and made available in the form of preconfigured templates for whole applications.
Kickstart strives to provide a selection of integration-patterns with well defined domains of application. Each pattern comes with a complete template application getting you kickstarted with your application in minutes.
For the time being, Kickstart is based on Tapestry, Hivemind and Hibernate. Also, Kickstart is in an early state. While it works, there's only one application pattern and template supported right now. But nevertheless, please try it and tell me whether it works for you.