Summary of L&F Options

OptionProsCons
Set component properties. Good for one-off. Gets monotonous.
Write factory methods. Easily changed details. Keep track of callers.
Extend Swing components. Easily changed behavior. Study before overriding.
Install custom borders and renderers. Good architectural support. Requires some expertise.
Install a custom MetalTheme. Global fonts and colors. Options somewhat limited.
Add custom entries to defaults table. Global changes to UI. Global changes to UI.
Create custom UI, borrowing code. Code known to work. Requires study to modify.
Create custom UI whole cloth. You could sell it on e-Bay! Got two years to spare?