When maven1 was terrible, since the xml scripting engine was buggy. Maven2 was great – I thought and I used it heavily. But now a couple years later I understand people still using ant. I had great hope using maven but the reality proved, that maven is one of the biggest time waster in my developer life.
It is nice and low effort if you do simple one-project-just-build-me-a-jar kind of projects. But as soon you start working on serious projects – there is no chance you are productive with maven.
So what is good on maven:
* convention over configuration
* transient dependency management
* a lot of plugins
Though the bad parts are:
* all those plugins are very buggy
* it uses a descriptive language (xml), so no real possibility to script logic
* do some custom logic is a pain
** as soon you do any kind of different behavior your xml blows up
** custom plugins need to be external projects

And I could go on for hours. So it is time for something new. Sure there is buildr, but I dont want to learn even another language just for builds. So why dont use java – right use groovy.
So here is my new star on the build sky. Gradle
It has all the nice feature I want:
* very lightweight
* convention over configuration
* transient dependency management (we can still use all our maven repositories)
* a script language to do my custom logic
* java language syntax
* it works great with all build servers and moving to it is super easy since it comes with a script that download the release if needed.

So you should give it a try.