I've added/updated support for java.util.Date and java.util.Calendar - 99% of the work is in the new DateTimeConverter implementation. I thought I do commit then review, rather than other way round - since its easily reverted in SVN if there are still objections.
For java.util.Date and java.util.Calendar it can be configured to parse/format dates in one of two ways:
1) Use the default SHORT date format, either for the default Locale or a specified Locale
2) Use a set of Date "patterns" with which to try and parse the date
As Simon pointed out, this isn't going to work for an application that has to deal with multiple Locales - but thats true for all of the "converters" package - and the intention was for peole to use the "locale.converters" package for that scenario. I think providing functionality for "single Locale" scenarios is worth while though.
Also, its not just about conversion to and from Strings - these also provide conversion between the different date types - which if BeanUtils is copying properties and, for example, the source is a java.util.Calendar and target is java.util.Date - then going via a String, which is what it would do currently is really bad.
Finally, as I said before people can easily register/de-register converters - so if they don't want the functionality, they don't have to have it.