Looks like it might be a bug in JVM, maybe you can work around it by compiling JBoss from source.
Please bear with me, just like Homer Simpson I'm not very bright and both Homer and me know it.
Isn't the JVM part of the JDK? Actually the JRE. If so, will changing anything in JBoss fix a faulty JVM? I know the J2EE parts are contained in JBoss.
It may be due to a specific byte-code combination. So perhaps recompiling the source produces a different arrangement of the byte-code for your implementation.
A few of the JDK 1.3.1 implementations seem to have varying success with JBoss. Notably, SCO's 1.3.1 09 seems to fail, as does the IBM 1.3.1 for later 3.2.x releases (and no hope for the SSL parts to work). Unfortunately, I seem to remember the BSD Java releases have been slow in coming and problematic with some J2EE implementations, JBoss included.
It is clear you know what you are talking about.
On another tack, it's hard to find reasonably priced hosts supporting JBoss in Aussie. I'm now with a host in the USA who charges slightly more than a third of what I would have to pay in Aussie. Everything works fine and fast. Setup over the wire wasn't too difficult, even though it is my first time.
Both the reseller and me have given up on the FreeBSD based host.
I was having the same problem on SCO's 1.3.1_10 jre. The solution is to get the JBoss source and compile with the 1.3.1 sdk. Then everything works fine. I guess the compiled JBoss download was compiled with the 1.4 sdk.