So, all the problem I was working through yesterday have been figured out. Kind of disappointing in some ways. Sort of like reading a really good short story. Great entertainment but so short, hardly worth the effort.
I mentioned, or alluded yesterday that I had been playing around with IDE support trying to get my dtd converted into beans. One of the places I discovered while pursuing the NetBeans route was the Schema2Beans plug-in. Although I never got it to work inside of NetBeans I was able to pull out the libraries of the plug-in and invoke them from the command line (and from Eclipse).
So my big nasty DTD did have some "issues" you could say, that didn't really help anything but with a little help from an XML validator and some creative hacking I got it all working. It works quite beautifully actually. The XML generation isn't quite as cool as my decorator but it will work.
The funny thing is as I was writing the test case I recognized the code I had written was almost identical to the way IBM's generated beans work. So there is a [small] chance in H3ll that the old applications can migrate to this version when IBM finally deprecates their dtd converter.
Not the weekend I should have had but it was a fun little problem that didn't turn out to be that difficult thanks to those fine fellows over at NetBeans.