How Best to Prepare and Serve Crow

I've been very vocal about my distaste for maven in the past.  Most of my preference for other tools is the large, spiky, opaque interface that maven offers.  Figuring out how to customize a maven build is an exercise in frustration at best.  I was talking to a maven dev (no clue how "senior" the guy was) and he couldn't answer a question I had (I think it was about finding out what plugins/targets a pom offered).  He fumbled about looking for an answer.  And that just typifies why I dislike maven so much. On the other hand, there are many things to like as well.  IDE integration has finally reached a usable point for me.  IDEA has top notch support for basing a project definition off of it, finally, which is a big win if your project has dependency changes frequently.  It also makes hetergeneous development environments much more portable among many other advantages.  Maven still has its Golden Path on which life is all rainbows and butterflies and deviating from that path is starts to look like a descent into Emyn Muil.  But still, the world is slowly moving that way in large part because the ant guys seem to have stopped any sort of evolution of their own offering.

So it's my intention to move all my stuff to maven now.  We use it at work so I'm already using it most of the time anyway.  Many of my complaints are born of frustration/ignorance of the details of the tool and there's only way to cure that.  I knew that despite all my kvetching that this day would come.  And here it is.

So I have one question for the tube generation:  what's the best way to cook crow?