In addition to adding your 'appl-destination-service.xml' have you tried adding a module element to the jboss-app.xml e.g.
I think that this method should work (At least in the JBoss 3.2 branch)
Previously in the JBoss 3.0 branch I think the service.xml needed to be wrapped in a sar.
Sorry the first line should have read :-
In addition to adding your 'appl-destination-service.xml' to the root of the ear have you tried adding a module element to the jboss-app.xml e.g.
Thank's it works. My solution looks a bit different, though.
As the DTD states that should specify a .sar file, I have packed the appl-destination-service.xml in a dest.sar as META-INF/jboss-service.xml, put the dest.sar in the EAR (top-level) and specified <moduledest.sar in the jboss-appl.xml.
This should be in the manual (I looked again: the bought documentation has not a single reference to jboss-appl.xml in it).