I had the same issue with my first generation Storm, where the on-screen keypad wasn't working except for the zero. I had to get a replacement phone, only to have the same issue recur. I went back and found a tech who had just read an update on the same issue, and he fixed it.
The solution? change Language to English from English (United States) in Options, Language and Text Input, Language. I have no idea why this works, but it did for me. I hope it fixes your problem as well!
My phone did the exact same thing. The only way I can dial a number that was not in my contacts, was to put it in my contact list. This has been happening for the last month I believe.
My phone finally crashed this morning. I posted a thread of it a few seconds ago.
I had this problem starting in early November. They wiped my phone & re-installed TWICE. I was on the phone with BBerry as well. Then they gave me a NEW Storm 1. 4 days later on a trip, the same thing happened.....keypad with just 5, 1, 0 & the voice mail speed dial. and those numbers aren't in the right place. There's only 1 letter on each key. Never goes away.
While on the trip I bought a Storm 2 because I couldn't dial 911. HAD to buy it as it was a safety issue flying with a DH with a new Pacemaker. Three weeks later, THAT did almost the same thing. Weird keypad would show up after dialing & then go away at the end of the call. Fine to call, but not to pick up voice mail or anything with tones.
Since I was in my 30 days, I couldn't take the chance that the new software upgrade would fix it so I changed to a DROID. It's a gr8 phone. Miss some of the BBerry stuff, but I'm adjusting. It has lots the BBerry doesn't.
Good luck with the fix. I hope they get it under control as they acted as if they'd never seen in b4 in early November.
I also got the strange looking keypad when I tried to access Voicemail the first time. I had to go to "Options", "Language and Text Input", "Keyboard Layout" and change to "QWERTZ". I accessed voicemail just fine, then went back through the above and changed the QWERTZ back to "Automatic". I now have to have speaker phone turned on for password tones to be heard, then switch off speaker. Hope this helps....