There's been chatter on the NetBean blogs about NB 5 RC1 coming out "real soon now". It should be out this week if I can believe what I read in a blog's comments here. In any event the daily releases stopped January 5th, indicating that something is up. What's more, if you go to the NetBean's download page and look under development builds, you'll find a new entry (for me, anyway) in the release versions dropdown for NetBeans 5.1, with a whole list of daily releases right up to the date of this posting (January 11th).
I've been living pretty solidly with NB5 since beta 2. I think I made the switch from Eclipse to NB without realizing it. I can't pin it on any one reason, but what helped tip me over to NB5 was it's superior Emacs key bindings in the editor. Another is that Matisse finally works for me. It hit a high level of stability (especially under the latest builds on SuSE Linux) and I suspect I also learned to really use it well by un-learning some habits acquired using other equivalent tools. Matisse and I grew towards one another.
I wish Eclipse and its supporters the best of luck. For me it's grown too big and complicated. I now realize the last good, fast version was probably 2.1.3. I think that's the sweet spot that NB5 has finally hit; fast and with useful features. There's definitely a number of areas where NB5 can be polished up (up-to-date documentation on internals for starters), but hey, it's open source and it's free. I just hope that success doesn't ruin NetBeans in the future the way it seems to have ruined Eclipse right now.