Can I place my classes somewhere other than inside WEB-INF?
If you are not interested in portability, you can still put all your classes into the CLASSPATH environment variable.
The startup script for Tomcat 3.2.x should automatically add that classpath to the one used by Tomcat, while, with version 4.0.x and 3.3.x, you definitely need to make a small change in the startup script to add the CLASSPATH environment to the one that is generated by the script to esecute Tomcat.
[Also, they may conflict with other library JARs. XML parsers are notorious for this problem. -Alex C]