With JSR 311 and it's implementations we have a powerful standard for exposing Java objects via Rest. However on the client side there seems to be something missing that is comparable to Apache Axis for SOAP - something that hides the web service and marshals the data transparently back to Java objects.
How do you create Java RESTful clients? Using HTTPConnection and manual parsing of the result? Or specialized clients for e.g. Jersey or Apache CXR?
This is an old question (2008) so there are many more options now than there were then:
UPDATE circa 2014:
The new kid on the block which provides NIO support (although truthfully I don't think this really improves performance for clients like it does servers).
A caveat on picking HTTP/REST clients. Make sure to check what your framework stack is using for an HTTP client, how it does threading, and ideally use the same client if it offers one. That is if your using something like Vert.x or Play you may want to try to use its backing client to participate in whatever bus or reactor loop the framework provides... otherwise be prepared for possibly interesting threading issues.