My keyboard had been working properly for 4 months, but all of the sudden, the settings for Delay and Speed in System Tool → System Settings → Keyboard → Typing → Repeat Keys got ignored.
I have restarted the machine, but it didn't help.
To troubleshoot, I've even set the delay to zero, but there is still about a 1.5 second pause. Then I set it to the maximum value; there's still the same 1.5 second pause.
In addition I have attempted to rectify this from the command line
$ sudo kbdrate -d 250 -r 22 [sudo] password for user1: Typematic Rate set to 21.8 cps (delay = 250 ms)
Once again, the delay and rate remain unchanged after running this command.
I am using Ubuntu 12.04 with GNOME Classic.