You don't have a choice I'm afraid bugle, anydvd is the only route open to you, albeit there are free alternatives.
Nothing is altered in your laptop by using region free software, they simply install their own driver which makes the dvd drive recognise disks from any region, uninstall it and your back to where you began, region coded.
At the moment my present trading pattern (I am in the Merchant Navy) does not take me outside Europe, although this may change. I do not need any software (yet) but when I do I shall take your advice, but this was not the intention of this post, I am sorry if I did not make myself clear.
The points I am trying to make and would like comments on are:
1. Is a laptop classed as suitable for worldwide use(afterall, it has a worldwide warranty) if you cannot play a DVD from the country you are in at that moment?
2. Is Sony correct in saying 90% of manufacturers lock the regions on their DVD Laptops?