Maven 2 Is Getting There
To me a build tool needs to just work. There are *enough* build problems outside of the actual tools one chooses - that is with the actual software being built. ant works. make works. maven works... most of the time. It's a complicated tool and it's getting better, but it does have its idiosyncrasies.
For example, I remember reading a little while back how someone was working on some patches to "make [maven 2] not suck," like to use an asynchronous dependency downloader. The author was the one implementing the downloader patches. It's nice to see a problem and contribute to its solution. I can see this helping tremendously with build times as the tool often checks for updates from repositories.
Another example is the fact that every once in a while local build repositories inexplicably get corrupted. Often, the solution is to simply delete the it and start fresh, but it's frustrating to have to download several megabytes of libraries again.
It appears that the patches will be available with version 2.1.0 of maven. As of 1 October, 2008, it is in the RC1 stage before release.
I'm hopeful also that m2eclipse (m2e) and q4e will be able to help out with eclipse integration. m2e is in incubation to become part of eclipse and is quite mature. q4e is also in incubation with eclipse, though it won't be out in full glory until sometime next year, according to the latest projections.
Overall maven 2 has an active community both in use and development, so hopefully the kinks will get worked out.