Previously I had looked at preflighting, (1, 2) with Hudson (And Jenkins) but forgot to mention a very important plugin that is essential if you want to convince your developer to preflight there work. The problem is that is the slave allotment/smallholder/farm is busy running other jobs then they are forced to wait before merging.
The easy solution to this problem is the priority sorter plugin. This allows you to specify that some jobs are more or less important then others. The default priority is 100, so seeing your preflight job to 1000 should see it jump to the front of the queue.
It is interesting how the length of tests affects my commuting behaviour, now that is take around an hour to run the long tests just for our components. It makes sense to start a work at home, kick of a job and you should have you nice shiny test results by the time we get into work. One day I might even get a blue ball if I am so very lucky with our dependencies. :-)