All I need is to:
I've been pondering the same question myself.
The most promising direct candidate I've found so far is launch (https://github.com/bengourley/launch). However, it hasn't been updated in like a year, which makes me a little suspicious about its future status.
In the absense of obviously good solutions, I ended up solving the whole build/deployment problem, piece by piece in the following fashion:
.gitignore. One of the implications is that you don't have to install dependencies locally, removing the second step (try if reading this convinces you as well).
.gitignore. Just make sure
package.jsonstays up-to-date (for tips, see "Managing Node.js Dependencies with Shrinkwrap")
gruntwhen deploying to do the minification
By doing so, I effectively eliminated some of the need for Fabric altogether, leaving only the actual deployment to be solved:
That being said, I too would be glad to hear about better solutions.
Edit: just found out about deploy (https://github.com/visionmedia/deploy). Seems very promising. You could try that as well!