How can I hide a table column without removing it from the underlying table model?
The best way to do this is to write a simple filtering model that just skips the column you want to omit. I have an example of such a filter in my article "Advanced Model-View-Controller Techniques" at IBM's VisualAge Developer Domain (http://www.software.ibm.com/vadd).
Surf to http://www7.software.ibm.com/vad.nsf/Data/Document2329 and have a peek. (Look for OmitColumnTableModel in the article)