You didn't give much of an explanation of "following code fails", so we're shooting in the dark here. First thought though is: did you wrap the HTML form or input tag with a <cfoutput> tag? The <cfform> tag includes the functionality of <cfoutput> already, which might be why your <cfinput> code works but <input> doesn't.
Rule of thumb when trying to output ColdFusion variable values to the page: if you aren't inside a ColdFusion tag designed to output data to the page (like CFFORM, CFMAIL, etc.), you need to have an enclosing <cfoutput> tag somewhere.