It appears that the new sysV start/init script redirects all the process output to /dev/null when starting the broker.
This leads to pain and confusion, since you will not see any error output when you have e.g. a non-compliant activemq.xml config file - the script just completes successfully but your broker has not started. To see the output you actually have to hack the init script to remove the /dev/null, or get the script to output the command line so that you can run it by hand to get the error output.
The process output should probably be redirected to some log file in the data directory.