My first draft of this blog went into half a page of crap about how Sun was originally really cool on the desktop, and then decided it would leave it all to Microsoft and Apple. Rather than dragging up the past (and boring you will what you with what you already know), I will focus on the here, now, and future.
Having been lagging by several years, Solaris Express is now hot on the heals of todays desktop. JDS is currently Gnome 2.16 (2.18.x will be Solaris Express real soon). If you really want the latest and greatest now, you can either download and install the Vermillion developers release or build it directly from the JDS spec files. The latest and greatest Xfce Desktop (4.4.1) like Vermillion can be downloaded and installed (x86 only), or built from the Xfce spec files.
While JDS and Xfce are now are rather nice now. For the real story on a sexy eye-candy Desktop you can not go past Compiz on Solaris. If you are into shimmering transparent windows etc, and you think that there is not a hope in hell that you can do this on Solaris, then you need to check out Erwann Chénedé's blog. Also if you also want transparent windows for Xfce. Install Erwann's Compiz packages and rebuild the Xfce window manager from the spec files. Re-login and turn on the "Compositor" in the Window Teaks settings.
To top this off, I have recently added the spec files for several really cool 3D Linux Games (more on the way) and wine to the SFE repository. The SFE repository has the spec files for a lot of really cool applications for Open Solaris. Check it out!
The only thing missing now is the latest KDE....
Below I have put together hopefully some useful links for a Sexy Desktop Solaris...
Name: Open Solaris Desktop Community
Discussion List: http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/desktop/discussions
Full Name: Java Desktop System
Description: Sun's version of the Gnome Desktop
Project Homepage: http://www.opensolaris.org/os/project/jds
Download URL: http://dlc.sun.com/osol/jds/downloads/current
SVN URL: svn+ssh://email@example.com/svn/jds/spec-files/trunk
Name: Erwann Chénedé's Weblog
Description: Compiz 0.5.0 packages and patches for OpenSolaris x86
Blog URL: http://blogs.sun.com/erwann/entry/compiz_0_5_0_packages
Name: Open Solaris Xfce Project
Description: Xfce Desktop for Open Solaris
Project Homepage: http://www.opensolaris.org/os/project/xfce
Download URL: http://dlc.sun.com/osol/xfce/downloads/current
Parent Project URL 1: http://www.xfce.org
Parent Project URL 2: http://goodies.xfce.org
SVN URL 1: svn+ssh://firstname.lastname@example.org/svn/xfce/spec-files-xfce/trunk
SVN URL 2: svn+ssh://email@example.com/svn/xfce/xfce-goodies/trunk
Name: Spec Files Extra (SFE)
Description: A Repository for pkgbuild spec files (Not only Desktop)
Project Homepage: http://pkgbuild.sourceforge.net
SVN URL: https://svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/pkgbuild/spec-files-extra/trunk
Name: Build Recipes Reference
Description: List of build files, scripts and patches for Open Source Software on Solaris