the sticky thread on top of this forum is also a good place to look.
Starstreak: the official tutorials are pretty good. a good point of it is, for every change made to the language, or every error in them found, it can easily and quickly be corrected. just try that with a book :)
From a beginner's point of view it really sucks. It may cover everything and be up-to-date, but the examples look very Laure Lemay'ish and extremely overcomplex. If you want a nice, concise explanation & example of a Java method, it's the last place I would look.
for a beginner, all decent examples look overwhelming. for a beginner, if they look at a decent book, those examples 'll look overwhelming too. that doesn't mean it is a bad guide to go buy.
let's think about those books that only offer "nice 'nd easy" code snippets ... it's a bit the same as teaching your child to wear slide-in shoes, because they're easier to put on.
but in the end, do you want your kid to go to school (or worse, growing up) not knowing how to tie laces?
basically, if you really want to learn java, don't be afraid to learn it good and thoroughly, even though it takes a bit more effort. it does pay off in the long run.
I don't disagree with using a good book, but I would still recommend the official tutorials next to them. (except for the "let's build a Swing application with the netbeans editor")