<ui:repeat> is the preferred way to go. If you're having problems with it I'd try and resolve the issue on the facelets mailing list. Or you could try an alternate implementation. I believe that RichFaces has a repeat tag of their own as well.
This is a known problem in facelets - the problem is, afaik, that none of the devs have managed to replicate / track down the problem. I suspect if you can help it would be much appreciated.