xkeymap.noKeycodeMap = "TRUE"
Thanks to http://nthrbldyblg.blogspot.com/2008/06/vmware-and-fubar-keyboard-effect.html for this one.
Next, VMWare would occasionally cause all of the same keys from the previous bug either to stop working or to act as though they are permanently pressed in the host. After playing with this bug for awhile I found that it happens most reliably when coming out of full-screen mode. There's no real solution for this one, but running "setxkbmap" from a terminal fixes it. The vmware forums have a thread about this issue. Since I sometimes can't type when this bug strikes (e.g. when ctrl is stuck), I added a launcher to my gnome panel so that a single mouse click can give me my keyboard back.
Lastly, when using ctrl-g to have vmware grab input, it never releases the g key. I haven't found a fix for this (except to avoid using ctrl-g) and the only way I've found to get a working desktop back is to ssh in from another machine and killall vmware.