i just dug around and found the ejb3 tutorials and it looks to have a lot of what i am after. i'll go over it with a fine tooth comb before i gripe any more.
What I did, was to do some of the examples with Apache Axis, just to get my head around what is actually going on. Then I did the jsr109ejb example in the sample code delivered with JBossWS.
I had the client code from the Axis tutorial up and running already, so then it was quite straightforward to get the Web Service to deploy and call.
NB: You must use JBoss 4.0.4.CR2 to be able to deploy the Web Service.