Two of the chapters from Beautiful Code Alberto Savoia chapter Beautiful Tests and Simon Peyton Jones on concurrency are available in PDF form. Beautiful Tests covers most of the different kinds of tests and how to make changes to code to make it more testable and starts to cover creating and validating theories.
Speaking of tests, Scala, DSLs, Behavior Driven Development?, talks about how Java is poor at creating DSLs specifically compared to Scala. And what's the application? Behavior driven development in a Java project called beanSpec (which superficially looks similar to Instinct probably as they're both based on RSpec and using the same stack example). So you have this neat sort of convergence where people are looking at testing Java better in ways that are more declarative (functional even).
Making Java more functional is on the cards for Java 7 in, Will Java 7 be Beautiful?, it links to point free programming in Java and Haskell and how the new language proposals (closures) make Java 7 look a lot like Haskell with the suggestion that all Java 7 functions should be curried.
While the syntax is potentially getting more beautiful, the user interfaces are traditionally pretty poor in Java (even with OS X support) but even that is changing. I've been following Chet Haase's blog and recently Filthy Rich Clients was made available to purchase. It's all about improving the look and feel of Java and to finally approach the richness of native OS X and Windows applications. He even has some links about language proposals too, including bringing back line numbers. Some examples of their work are on the web site and on Roman Guy's blog which includes an entry called Beautiful Swing.
Roman also linked to a movie of *7 the prototype handheld device running Green (Java). Who knew Duke had a house?