Just a quick note to mention that there are regular DVD players that make this a non-issue for people who do their homework. The Oppo Digital players are some examples, since they can be made region free and can play either NTSC or PAL discs.
DVD Region Codes - What You Need To Know
What skirge01 said. If you search for 'region free' on Google you'll find quite a few listings. One of the reasons that I bought my Denon was because it'll do PAL->NTSC translation and it is all-region. Oppo is making some *amazing* players. I just ordered one for my father because I got tired of the discs that I send him not playing.
Actually, since standard DVD region coding is a joke that people can get around easily, what I would be more concerned with is the mess of region coding that Blu-ray offers. BR does, but it's rather a mess, some studios do region code, some only region code new titles but not 'catalog' releases, etc. A major plus to people who like to import titles is that HD DVD doesn't have region coding, perhaps just as important to the international community is that with HD DVD not having region coding they can get US titles imported to their countries and not have a region issue.