It seems like yesterday that I went independent , and now I turn around to find that it will be five years next month. Time flies eh? Even though I'm proud of lasting this long (especially in the Dublin market) and am probably enjoying it more than ever , there's always a lot to learn - both on the technology and business side of things.
Perhaps one of the best articles I've see about the process of going independent is at angrycoder.com
He's dot-net focussed , but a lot of what he says still holds true for Java/J2EE people. He's especially good at describing the marketing side of things , where is where a believe a lot of IT people still fall down.