I spent most of this week working on automating an EC2 deployment. I want the servers to be run over and over again in a predictable manner. Get them running in the 5 min, they can run in, the base AMI is mostly done, has lots of packages and the scripting that remains is trivial, however I haven't found a good way to do it with bash and awk, don't have the time to learn Boto or the inclination to use RightScale. However I feel a bit like I am rewriting Poolparty, but way behind on this. I would be very interested in others solutions, experiences, frustrations and successes. Feel free to comment below.
So far I use a spreadsheet as a starting point for what the servers will be, then export the data as a CSV and have bash/awk turn it into ec2-run-instances commands.