This happens after start-up...
32 GB Ram
Apple Wired Keyboard and Mouse
Intuos 4 Wacom Tablet
Sounds like a conflict with some other software or the OS.
Which version of Illustrator are you using?
By the way, the default shortcut to highlight the font selection field in the Character palette is Cmd-Option-Shift-F
Thanks you for your reply...
I use Master CS6 on OSX 10.8.3... not a lot of extras... most current versions of Suitcase Fusion 4 and Wacom software...
I very recently switched from a very similar config (CS5, Snow Leopard on a 27" 3.06 MHz iMac) where there were no problems.
Can it be Illustrator CS6?
There is a lack of continuity in this version... small things are adding up.
By continuity... what was working very well have changed or been deleted.
I'd like look back on all these small problems and know I was wrong with my evaluation.
Just as good would be Adobe fixing all this with an interim upgrade.
Illustrator CS6 might be the reason, but I don't know for sure as I've trashed that version. In AI CS5 the shortcuts you're mentioning do work here.
Passionate users of AI CS6 may have a look at your issue.