If you are working with Java, you must be earning a lot of money (why complain?). You might be interested in some of these books (more than 500 pages) and personal seminars:
Bruce Eckell Books. He is the best of his kind and is never mentioned at Sun :) .
in reply to Re^2: cron script best practices
in thread cron script best practices
What I find dissapointing of Java is that there is a lot to learn. And that your are never sure that it wouldn't change in the next release. And so much Megas to download!
Besides, you are right: perl is McGiver-like, all resourceful. You are able to record the output of every perl script at your crontab in a provisional log file to compare it later with the output that you would get after launching every script from command line. Is it the same?
Perl allows us to return to our basical way of solving everything just by trying things out and perhaps, reinventing several wheels. But you don't have to ask for the rules any longer. You create your own rules...