One of my pet peeves regarding h : outputLink inside a menu item is that the area where the link is active is restricted to the text, rather than the full area of the selection.
For example I have this code
Each menu item, when selected, is highlighted in a rectangle that spans the width of the drop-down menu.
The link rendered by h : outputLink is only active when you mouse over the text of the selection, NOT the whole selection.
This drives me crazy. Is there a workaround to this problem? I have concluded, in testing, that my link was non-functional, until I realized that the mouse was not over the text of the selection in which case the link worked fine.
Ultimately, that's because that's how HTML works and RichFaces is generating HTML.
I don't remember if any of the alternative menu frameworks are more like you want. Maybe Tomahawk's jscookmenu?
An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.