I don't think the answer is to re-invent anything, but instead to build on top of the powerful stack that we already have. And that's what we're doing: writing a complete Java Application Builder that makes basic tasks super-easy and advanced tasks manageable. And helps with database development. And deployment. And is a platform for Rich Internet Applications.
Below is a link to our preview release project page. Let us know if you think we're on to something. And, *shameless plug*, let us know if your company would like to use this to save development time, and can afford to help us by investing in an early adopter program.
DataBox Project Page
DataBox Video Tutorial