Don't worry about CVS hanging. It didn't prevent me from getting a tree that builds and deploys.
Installation notes are located at http://www.jboss.org/index.html?module=html&op=userdisplay&id=developers/projects/nukes/tutorial
Basically, you have to run the build[.sh|.bat] script in nukes/build and nukes/distrib.
Currently, in nukes/build, I have to swicth between jboss322rc2 (the default with tomcat) and and jboss322RC2-jetty to be able to complete the build. And in nukes/distrib, I have to edit nukes/journal/output/resources/hsqldb/setup.ddl to use right timestamp formats.
I hope this helps,