Thanks Eric for the response and the links. While trying some of the suggestions, I ended up messing up my Eclipse instance--went overboard with the cleaning of the configuration dir. So I set up (unzipped) a fresh Eclipse 3.3.2, copied in the GWT Designer features and plugins, and started it up. It worked fine. I restarted Eclipse, still fine. Then I installed the M2 Eclipse plugin for use with maven2 and restarted Eclipse. Found the culprit. I could have sworn I had restarted Eclipse multiple times since installing that before and used Designer OK, which is why I didn't think that plugin was the problem.
The actual culprit was the version of the M2 Eclipse plugin I was using. When using the dev version (http://m2eclipse.codehaus.org/update-dev/
), something prevents Designer from coming up OK. However, the stable version of M2 Eclipse (http://m2eclipse.codehaus.org/update/
) works fine along side of Designer.
Again, thanks for your help.