This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
I think this has something to do with the JSF lifecycle, the values if you hard code them are attached to the component tree before applying values that come from the managed bean..
So I think writing a phase listener would help, I am not too sure though