I encountered the same problem with Suns RI.
The problem is: the faces context is initialized the first time you make a call to the faces servlet. This does not happen if yo call the page directly.
browse to "welcome.faces" (or "welcome.jsf", depending on the faces url pattern) instead of "welcome.jsp".
build a plain JSP index page which links to your faces page. This index page should contain this link:
<a href="welcome.faces">Start page</a>
the index page contains a redirect to your jsf page:
<%@ page session="false" language="java" contentType="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1"%> <% response.sendRedirect("geometricmodel.faces"); %>
Hope this helps
JBoss 4.2.2 myfaces,
I got the same problem with explicit page index.jsf with correct servlet mapping.