Chris is a coworker so I know of what he speaks re: the cost of commercial development tools.
I too was a quick convert to IDEA. I was a long time VB programmer so I was spoiled with a good IDE (editting code while you are debugging it is a hard habit to break.) I wasn't very concerned with the dollar cost of IDEA. I'm concerned with the very nature of commerical commodity software. The profit motive encourages business behavior that can be very unfriendly to the developer. How many companies do a good job of maintaining the current version let alone an older one? As a long time VB developer I've lived through several x.0 releases, known bugs that existed for years, only then to be completely screwed by the jump to VB.NET.

It has been my experience that the free software development model is much more responsive to the needs of it's users (makes sense since the developers are usually users too…)

That said, we're going to pony up the $$ for IDEA, and I'm hoping they are a different kind of company. If not I hope by the time I tire of them Eclipse (or some other free IDE) will have stolen all their good ideas.

Side note: I think we're much more insulated with Java IDEs than in the case of VB, where both the language and the IDE were controlled by the same company. It's comparitively easy to switch Java IDEs, we've already done it a few times already (xemacs -> JBuilder -> xemacs -> Netbeans -> xemacs -> IDEA)