Barley, hulled, pearled, which is healthier??? seems like I keep getting it wrong!
Hulled is more nutritious, has the hull removed but retains the bran. Pearled has hull and bran removed, is still fairly nutritious, though. Here is a good page on that, Cook's Thesauraus:
I recommend soaking hulled barley overnight to reduce the cooking time, and I'm not sure if I'm imagining it or not, but I also think it improves the flavor and texture.
Here is more than you ever thought you could know about barley: http://www.barleyfoods.org/consumer.html/.