This wasn't always the case though. When I first got my Powerbook in London, it was Region 2. I had read that VLC plays all DVDs, so I installed it, and yes it did! It played Region 1 & 3 discs perfectly, whilst DVD Player required you to change the region setting.
I had a quick look online at a few of the forums earlier. It appears that it's not VLC that has changed. But, the updates to QuickTime Player, and indeed OS X, have managed to block VLC's ability to circumvent regional coding.
So unless future versions of VLC can again bypass the region lock, I'm not sure what other ways around it there are.
If you have an IntelMac, and run XP on it, and have a DVD player too, then you could try a program called DVD Region + CSS Free. On my HP laptop it works perfectly to unblock regional coding and even bypasses FBI warnings/Dolby Trailers/Trailers to get you to the menu straight away. I can't see any reason it won't work on an IntelMac.