I set up an Ubuntu 12 server (on rackspace cloud using their preconfigured image) and created a non-root user. When I log in as the standard user, pressing [TAB] at the terminal outputs an actual tab and pressing [UP] outputs ^[[A . If I log in as root however, [UP] enters my last command and [TAB] autocompletes.
The .bashrc files look exactly the same between the two users. I really don't know where else to look.