I have narrowed down the issue to eliminate that tomcat can't find the jars. I know the jasrs are correclty packaged as my i8n code which is reliant on the jtl1.2 jar works.
this leaves me with a asuspicion that my paths are incorrect and leading to a scenario where tomcat never even looks for Faces servlet to translate the jsp.
Here is how I mapped the jsf related stuff...
1. Faces servlet url pattern: (/faces/*)
2. index.jsp (inside web folder) forwards to welcome.jsp in folder "faces" inside web folder
this scenarion is the cause of the deployment failure and I suspect a severe bug here because removal of the url pattern mapping for faces servlet leads to positive deployment which means that welcome.jsp is mapped correctly but somwhere the instantiation of the faces servlet is leading jsp translation to fail.
it is highly nlikely that both jsf versions I have used are buggy so is this tomcat?