After getting logged in there are no issues at all with the keyboard. I only see the problem at the login screen.
1) The keyboard does not appear to react at all to key presses at the Ubuntu login screen.
2) I cannot Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to a console when booted to the login screen
3) During a normal boot if I hit keys while it is booting I can see those key presses output to the terminal before it switches to the Ubuntu splash screen
4) booting in recovery mode I can navigate the text 'Recovery Menu' and drop into a root shell and the keyboard works fine.
5) I have not tried uninstalling the vmware guest tools, but I have upgraded the kernel twice, which breaks the vmware tools (i.e. they are not compiled to work with the new kernel yet) and requires you to re-run the tools config program. After installing the new kernel and rebooting the vmware tools are not running. The same keyboard problem is observed. I login and reconfigure the tools for the new kernel and get them up and running, then if I logout or reboot at this point, I see the same keyboard problem when I get back to the login screen.
6) keyboard input seems to work fine before the login screen and after logging in. I just doesn't work at the Ubuntu login screen.
From the link someone posted above and a similar post I found on the vmware site (link below), others are seeing the problem as well.
(note the original post may not be related, but a few of the later posts look like the same situation I describe)