Often I have heard people complain that Swing Apps are slow. I also have had some bad experiences with slow Swing Apps, but then I have also seen some very cool high performant applications. So, what's the secret of these fast Swing apps. I think the reason can be found in James Gosling's answer:
The big problem that Swing has is that it's big and complicated. And the reason that it's big and complicated is that it is the most fully featured, flexible, whatever-way-you-want-to-measure-it UI [user interface] tool kit on the planet. You can do the most amazing things with Swing. It's sort of the 747 cockpit of UI design tool kits, and flying a 747 is a little intimidating, and what people really want is a Cessna.
It is definately possible to write good speedy Swing applications, but U need to be a master of Swing and threading and know all the potholes which hog memory.
Here are a few links which contain some good info on fast Swing apps: