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.
It's usually best not to create UIComponents in Java code. As I've said many times, the more JSF-specific your code is, the more likely you're doing it wrong. JSF was designed to work as much as possible with generic POJOs.
When it cannot be avoided, however, you need to do it properly. You can't set a component's model value with the UIComponent "setValue" method. The setValue method is what's used to handle the "value=" attribute on a static View Definition, and that particular attribute takes an EL expression, not a simple property value. So setValue() needs an EL expression plus the EL execution context that handles it.
Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.