I understand this issue, and solve it with an external keyboard. I set up my laptop just like a desktop -- with all the usual attachments: monitor, keyboard, external hard drive, ethernet cable, tablet, USB hub, etc. ...
I'm looking forward to a Thunderbolt hub, which may allow me to have just one cable attached to my laptop for all the external devices.
I am looking forward to the idea of Thunderbolt connectors docking a laptop to all kinds of things, including not just monitors, keyboard, battery charging and fast external disks, but also a supplementary multicore coprocessor. For example, maybe the PCIe part of Thunderbolt (especially the promised future even faster versions, up to 100Gb/s) could connect to an auxiliary processor box based on something like the new 50+ core Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor
or an NVIDIA Tesla GPU