This blog posting is mostly spot on.
I guess I need to try out Rake, but the idea of using Ruby to solve a Java problem, seems like a bad idea too. Ant, with all its warts, is still my preference after all these years.
My favorite quote from that posting:
"Maven builds are an infinite cycle of despair that will slowly drag you into the deepest, darkest pits of hell (where Maven itself was forged)."
I couldn't agree more with everything the author said. I've been there. If you are using Maven to do builds, you should have your head checked (or even better, commit privileges revoked).