I am in a similar boat. We are considering a 3-node partition, where by we were hoping we could specify to clients which node to always use and not balance between the other two nodes. Those two nodes would just be stand by, should the main/master fail. Is it possible to do this via the Swing client, to always make sure it connects to a specific ip, but if that one does not exist, then try the next one?
For your specific problem, the new lightweight events might be of help as well:
http://www.jboss.org/modules/bb/index.html?module=bb&op=viewtopic&t= registered liteners receive the event. There is no waste of bandwidth if the master node is the only listener.
The new component will be available in Branch_3_2 within the next few days.