Don't know if it's related, but I once stumbled on a bug in one of the first Fedora Cores (or was it still Red Hat?) that lead to a similar problem.
Short story: if you are using an international keyboard which has some keys mapped differently (ie. y and z switched the other way around, etc.), don't assume that the keyboard is set properly even when it should be.
Got me wondering for quite a while and I still remember it after all these years