Get more RAM, CPU and faster disk.
It takes 20 seconds on my P4 2.8GHz with 2G of RAM and IDE disk. I have seen it take much less time to start on much bigger machines.
The biggest requirement for JBoss is RAM. Don't bother running it on anything less than 512MB.
less than 512MB?? You must be joking. With no cache and light usage JBoss runs happily in the default 64mb heap. Of course if you want to cache then that is another story.
I've drafted some instructions here: http://jboss.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=StartJBossOnBootWithLinux
How have you connected Jboss->Apache? does your server.log look normal? Any strange messages in /var/log/messages? Anything strange when you run "top"?
Definitely not joking. The smallest memory footprint I have seen from JBoss is about 300MB. Yes I could cut this down by disabling caching and limiting useage, but hey, this is the real world. To run real applications and deliver a useable level of performance requires a bit of caching.