> Is there really nothing as simple as xcopy c:\dir1\*.* c:\dir2 ??  
> can't find a wildcard argument under FileUtils.cp.  > painfully obvious solution here?

From the docs: http://ruby-doc.org/stdlib-1.9.3/libdoc/fileutils/rdoc/FileUtils.html#method-c-cp

FileUtils.cp %w(cgi.rb complex.rb date.rb), '/usr/lib/ruby/1.6'

Hence, you can pass a list of things as the first argument, and it'll work.

FileUtils.cp Dir["dir1/*"].collect{|f| File.expand_path(f)}, "dir2"

That's the shortest way I can think of.