For my work, I like the fact that the soap4r package is readily available for Ruby. but I have to admit that the design of soap4r strikes me as odd. Given my middleware background, I’m used to generating C/C++/Java stubs/skeletons/proxies from description languages and compiling them into applications. But Ruby is dynamic, so I don’t understand the need for a tool like wsdl2ruby for generating Ruby code from WSDL. So I just avoid that part. Instead, I use some of the underlying soap4r classes to do everything I need dynamically.
I agree; IMO, Jack Herrington’s approach to XML and Ruby would be ideal.