I had the same error due to an error in the XML "max2009_catalog.xml"
The easiest way to find the error out is open it on Firefox. If the XML is malformed, it will point the line and character where the error is.
In my case, I reordered some lines and a ">" was out of place.
I hope this helps
Checked the XML files, they render OK in Firefox without problems.
Went back over all the steps again, no change. Files attached.
But still getting deployment errors:
C:\MAX2009\Next Gen RIAs\Lab Material\max2009>ant
[echo] <error><timestamp>2009.09.29 17.04.28</timestamp><code>0</code><mess
[echo] <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><application-service-invocatio
Total time: 1 second
C:\MAX2009\Next Gen RIAs\Lab Material\max2009>
I brought your zip into my MAX environment and it runs fine.
In the C:\MAX2009\Next Gen RIAs\Server\188.8.131.52.20090828.2.219456\dist\samples\max2009 folder is a complete lab. Can you ANT that build.xml and see what happens?