You're quite right.
However generics has been scheduled to be introduced in "the next version" for some time now. Sun has had a prototype implementation floating around for years and the JSR [http://jcp.org/jsr/detail/14.jsp] has existed for some time too.
Something always seems to come up that derails the introduction of generics.|
I think the interesting question is: how much should a language change in it's lifetime? Something like Python is very fluid by comparison with Java where there is a clear intention to resist changes to the language.
Constant language change runs the risk of breaking the existing body of code but in a fiercer competitive environment (such as perl vs python vs ruby vs php or even java vs c#) language designers seem to be under more pressure to enhance the language rather than just its APIs.
What kinds of changes do people forsee happening in the design of java as a language if and when c# starts competing for mindshare? Secondly what kinds of changes would people like to see in the design of the java language? Are there features in other languages that could be introduced to java without fundamentally altering its nature?