The book gives an introduction to JavaFX 2, a web framework for realizing Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Overall, this is good book. If you want to get started with JavaFX 2, then you should buy this book. The book is easy to read and has good code examples (which you can download, too) for every feature.
The following article shows a categorization of Java / JVM web-frameworks, considering different types of web applications. The intention is go give an overview, not to start a flame war.
I used SmartGWT in our last project (duration: 6 months) – that is a component library for the Google Web Toolkit (GWT). I wanna share my experiences with that component library in the following. I show pros and cons of SmartGWT. Then I explain why I would use only a the client side of SmartGWT in future projects. I used SmartGWT Power 2.3 and GWT 2.0. All information is my personal opinion!