Miscellaneous:* By default uPortal uses CAS for authN. Some info for how to get Shibboleth setup is here: http://www.ja-sig.org/wiki/display/UPM31/03+Shibboleth and James Hong is the last one to indicate that he Shibbolized a recent version. We plan to eventually move to uP 3.1.1 (or later) and shibbolize it, but I just did a quick spike (test) of shibbing it (I wasn't able to keep it from hitting Login even on the guest view, but I'm guessing I was doing something wrong). If you have any trouble Shibbolizing, let the list know and maybe James can assist.
* uPortal has handful of portlets "under its wing" here: https://www.ja-sig.org/svn/portlets/ (note that not all of the portlets in the list at http://www.jasig.org/portlets are functional/have been tested in uPortal 3.1.1, but I assume the ones in https://www.ja-sig.org/svn/portlets/ have although I'm not sure totally. There are also a few built-in to the uPortal codebase itself (for administration, etc.).
Pros* Community is more University/school focused: I think there are many more universities/schools using uPortal vs. those using Liferay, but it not strictly used by universities.
* Has a Jasig portlet adoption process so that if you do contribute something that you can help get to the point where it meets standards (including being Apache-licensed), you should have some help in maintaining it.
* Works closely with Fluid group, so there is innovation in development of UI that first was shown in uP 3.1.
* CAS is built-in. Since many use CAS, this is good for them!
* Webproxy portlet can be used to share existing/new web applications and web content in the portal (but you'd need to use CSS classes implemented in your uPortal skin(s)).
* They offer free use of their Jira, Confluence, and Subversion for portlet and uPortal-related project development and community frequently will work together on portlets.
Cons* Not fully up-to-date on latest portlet standard: Although support was added in preparation for JSR-286, the latest release version of uPortal still uses JSR-168. Note: JSR-286 support is slated for uPortal 3.3.
* Upgrades are non-trivial: Upgrades have been stated to be non-trivial and probably will run into things that are not-documented, but recently code was provided that should assist greatly in uP 2.5.3 and uP 2.6.1 upgrades to uPortal 3.x, and the community and developers are willing to assist.
* Configuration/Usage/Development may be more difficult: From what I read and hear from others, uPortal is just more difficult to use than Liferay, however there is much greater support from the uPortal community to help you through it.
* CAS is built-in. If you don't use CAS, it might not be as well-tested with your type of authN.
* Wiki documentation is sometimes out-of-date and lacking. They welcome anyone to assist with documentation that wants to help though.
Pros* Sun contributes to Liferay (Sun basically gave up with OpenPortal project and took on Liferay).
* The latest release version of Liferay uses the latest portlet spec JSR286.
* Default portal is pretty slick/feels polished: while the UI of uPortal quickstart has certainly greatly improved, Liferay's default version/skin/UI of the portal feels more polished. However, this probably doesn't mean much because you will end up needing to reskin it for your implementation.
* There is a project for those interested in developing portlets using JRuby on Rails (but it is Liferay and JSR-286 specific even though they welcome development to make it work with other portals): http://rails-portlet.rubyforge.org/
* There is a project for those interested in developing portlets using Grails (may be is Liferay specific and I think still only supports JSR-168): http://grails.org/plugin/portlets
* There are probably more portlets available in Liferay and I think they have more developers working on the project and more users, but am not sure.
Cons* Community is less university/school focused
* CAS not built-in (if you are using CAS).
* Community/forums not nearly as helpful for universities or in-general as responsive at getting people up-to-speed (at least that is from what I hear. I can say for certain that the uPortal developers and community are very helpful).
Unsure* Don't know anything about ease of Liferay upgrades.
Both uPortal and Liferay
Pros* Both portals are Java-based: Integration with existing/new Java libraries is easier. Since Java has a very large userbase and there is a lot written in Java, you can develop portlets to do just about anything you can think of and reuse existing libraries from Apache/Jakarta, Sourceforge, Codehaus, Springsource, Hibernate, etc. along with plugins for Maven 2, tasks for Ant, etc.
* Both are standards-based and have active development and user communities.