I was pulling my hair out today, wondering why the bios screen was going by SO much faster since I upgraded to 3.5, even when I connected directly to the ESX box. Turns out that by default the bios screen is set for 0 milliseconds on a new machine. But you can chance this this is via the VM options in the VI client GUI. Remember the time is in milliseconds, plus there is a checkbox to force it to the bios setup on next boot!
Thanks for the heads up vinternals: VM boot screen timeout