Once you have Maven running it tends to work fine. You mainly experience problems when you initially install it, at the point when you know how to nothing with Maven.
I listed the main steps and actions I take in a pdf which I released to Slideshare and Google Docs.
- Debug maven issues from the command line, not from the IDE
- Read the Error Messages
- Work through "Maven in 5 Minutes"
- Compile without running the tests
- Try and download manually
- Set the proxy settings
- Read the official FAQs
- Find more hints and tips lists
- Force an update of the dependencies
- Delete your local repository cache
- Force a purge of the local repository
- Look at the effective pom and settings
- Use the dependency tree view
- Experiment and try and fix it yourself