Well I had the same problem with the insurance ws sample.
I can't actually tell why, but it makes some difference how I start the abt.icx.
I am using Windows Vista and I don't get the sample run when I just doubleclick the abt.icx file.
Now my steps how the sample works for me, maybe you give it a try.
Create a VAST Development folder.
Let's say: C:\Smalltalk\Images\vast80\abt.icx
Then you copy the xml and symples folder from C:\"Program Files"\Instantiations\"VA Smalltalk"\8.0\ into your new development folder.
Then and that's important! Create a batch (e.g. start.bat) file including the following line:
start C:\"Program Files"\Instantiations\"VA Smalltalk"\8.0\bin\abt.exe -i C:\Smalltalk\Images\vast80\abt.icx
Now doublecklick the batch-file and use the load/unload features menu entry from your Transcript Tools menu.
Just choose "Server Smalltalk (SST) - Web Services " and say okay.
Now browse the hierachy of "WsSecureExapmle" and start it via green start button in the toolbar.
That's the way how it works for me.
In my case, just doubleclicking the abt.icx sometimes leed to an stack overflow while generating the deployment files
Hope this helps!