Actually, the real reason why I bought a region-free DVD player is because I was sick and tired of passing up great foreign movies just because they weren't Region 1 DVDs (and I also got sick of watching Region 3 DVDs on our crappy computer that couldn't maintain a proper frame rate). This Region 6 version of Rush Hour 2 (which had been incorrectly advertised as Region Free) was just the push I needed to finally splurge on a region-free player.
I bought a region-free Daewoo 8300 DVD-player from CodeFreeDVD.com for $328 way back in 2004, then in 2011 I bought a region- and code-free Blu-ray player from Bombay Electronics for $229. Somewhere in between I bought a Region 1 Philips PET724 portable DVD-player, for probably $150, and disabled its region locking. You can get pretty cheap region-/code-free players, depending on how low you're willing to go on the quality, or if you don't want to pay the markup for buying a pre-unlocked player, you can try searching for your current or prospective new player at VideoHelp.com and hope the information is accurate. (It's mostly accurate.)
You can switch the region of an optical drive for a computer a limited number of times before it becomes permanent. The only reliable method to unlock it is to buy AnyDVD. The lifetime license is worth it, even if you just want to watch movies from your own region since it includes invaluable features like the ability to skip 20 minutes of normally unskippable previews.