The question of 5.0 versus 4.2.x, is whether you are willing to put up with the pain of working on beta and the release candidate software. So far the road to 5.0 has been bumpy, and very long and drawn out (beta1 came out Dec 2006, beta 2 in May(?), and now is beta3). When 5.0 GA comes out is anyone's guess. And then there are the growing pains as a lot of the plumbing moves from a JMX kernel architecture to the pojo microcontainer. Personally, If I have to put a product in the first half of 2008, I would go with 4.2.x.
As far as you laundry list, either 4.2.x or 5.0 will fit the bill (you never said what version of EJB you are interested in, but both 4.2.x and 5.0 have EJB3)
Finally, I think you need to go back and read the End User License Agreement (EULA) that you agreed to when you installed Windows XP. It specifically states that you can have at most 10 incoming connections to a machine running XP. So unless you are hosting a web app for a very small office (10 people or less), you will need to look into Windows Server (or Linux, which is a heck of a lot cheaper).
hey again peter, and thanks!
we decided to go with the 4.2.2 for now and migrate when the 5 is more stable and documented, thanks for reassuring us.
we still dont know which version of EJB we want to use, but we'll probably go with the EJB3.
the "we" that i use every once and a while refers to 2 people (me and my partner) and since the server which runs the XP is for development purposes i really don't think that we'll exceed to 10 connections limit...
the only reason we are using XP is that it already came with the computer we're using for a server... if and when we'll need more connections we'll probably have more money to invent in this whole thing so we'll upgrade everything... and we'll probably wont stay with a microsoft os since we dont intend to use any microsoft product for the server...