It seems my earlier post this week gets some answers from industry sooner rather than later. I just received a mail on the apache announcements mailinglist that Axis2 1.0 has been released. In related news, the JEE 5 spec has been finalized this week, which means that projects like Sun’s Glassfish (which includes the JAX-WS 2.0 reference implementation) and JBoss will likely follow up shortly with an implementation of the spec. JBoss, by the way, announced this week their release of JbossWS 1.0, which is their idea of facilitating J2EE 1.4 style web services in JBoss.
In other words, things are being done to address at least some of my concerns. Each of these technologies brings some interesting new things to the table. All of them remain xml centric rather than Java centric. I consider JAX-WS 2.0 very promising, though at this point a good open source implementation compatible with tomcat is lacking.