Here in Europe we have plenty of dvd players that can playback in NTSC format. None of them are region free by default, but that can be arranged with the help of videohelp.com or some other website which publishes the key tricks to make them region free.
Recorders can only record in the (pre)configured tv format. VCR is either PAL or NTSC. There are not much VCR devices that can deal both.