I've been self-employed for fifteen years; I founded Quiotix in 1992 to pursue some short-term consulting opportunities after getting laid off from my last job, and I never looked back. I like the flexibility, and I don't mind the stress of not knowing what my income is going to be in any given month. I like not having to ask permission to take a day off, or buy a new monitor, or attend a conference that looks interesting. So in the past, when offered full-time positions, my response has usually been "Why would I want that?" (This can be very perplexing to someone offering you a job; they're used to getting a very different response.)
So, those of you who know me well may be a little surprised to learn that as of September, I will be joining Sun Microsystems as a Sr. Staff Engineer / Technical Evangelist in the Java SE engineering organization. I'll be involved in a lot of things, including a lot of the same things I've been doing as an independent -- like writing technical papers on JVM internals and speaking at conferences. I'll also be involved with the Java SE engineering, QA, and education efforts. I have a feeling I'm going to be pretty busy.
To the customers, colleagues, business partners, and employees I've worked with at Quiotix, I offer thanks for fifteen good years and the best of luck in the future.