This is a weird one, and it took me a very long time to hunt down.
I have builds publishing via the ant publish target, as I have been for years.
I recently set usepoms="false" and could no longer publish artifacts. The first artifact would publish, but any further artifacts, or the ivy.xml, would time out – it's like the cirst connection never closes.
Switching the JDK to 1.6 instantly fixes the publishing issue.
Removing usepoms="false" also instantly fixes the issue.
Unfortunately, neither of these are acceptable workarounds. We publish a lot of internal code without pom files, and every time we go to resolve this code, our Maven repo scours the net for pom files that don't exist, and some builds that should take minutes take upwards of an hour.