Ant covers the basics you'll need - those universal tasks like copying, jaring, compiling etc. But WAS being WAS you will need to use the extra taskdefs IBM supply with WAS. Check the docs in the InfoCenter if you haven't already. You'll have to learn about WSAdmin too, if you don't already know how to use it.
You could also write a jacl script to install the ear and then have ant call a batch or shell script that executes the jacl script. It sounds like a lot of work but I find it better than the ant task. Plus you will have to go this route if you ever plan on using WAS ND and want an automated process to deploy your ear. You could also use Jython instead of jacl.
Java has 99 problems but a pointer ain't one
I’ve looked at a lot of different solutions, and in my humble opinion Aspose is the way to go. Here’s the link: http://aspose.com