On about 5 years I attended the conference The Colorado Software Summit. The first one was the last conference under the old name (ColoradOS/2) but then as OS/2 was rapidly losing market share and the conference delegates changed their programming interests it changed to become a Java conference.
The Colorado Software Summit rapidly became known as THE event to really learn about Java, other conferences are larger and have a higher profile but the organisers of CSS decided to keep the numbers smaller (600 is usually the maximum number of delegates) to provide better opportunities for the delegates to meet and confer. One of the attractions of CSS is the large number of skilled and experienced people who attend, there are many delegates who can teach you lots of interesting things even though they aren’t on the speaking list. I ended up never doing any serious Java programming, but I still found that I learned enough and had enough fun to justify the expense.
Currently there is an early registration open which saves $200 off the full price ($1,795 instead of $1,995), this lasts until the 31st of August. In addition to this the organisers have offered a further $100 discount to the first five readers of my blog who register personally (IE an individual not a corporation is paying for the ticket). To take advantage of the extra $100 discount you must include the code CSS509907 in your registration.
PS I have no financial interest in this matter. I like the conference organisers, but that largely stems from the fact that they run great conferences that I have enjoyed. I recommend the conference because it’s really good.