Have you tried having your submit method return a string driving a navigation action from your pages.xml?
I haven't done exactly what you're attempting, by why would a auto-submit be handled any differently than a manual submit?
1. This may sound like an unbelievably silly question, but:
What do you mean by my "submit method"? With, for example, h:commandButton, you specifiy the method via the action parameter.
2. To answer your question about auto and manual submits:
As I understand it, when a submit button (incl. h:commandButton, h:commandLink) is fired it invokes a JSF Action, which returns a string value to drive navigation.
ValueChangeListeners on the other hand raise an ActionListener event, which do not participate in navigation.
The ValueChangeEvent happens first, so if I could hook into the submit, I could certainly make this work via pages.xml.
Thanks for your input, though.