"Shakedown" and "Mental" miss the whole point of "Mgattmch's" original post. The question was specifically about region-free versions of the Oppo 105, which Oppo itself does not offer.
To get a region-free unit one must go to a secondary seller/distributor of Oppo products who offers that modification. Thus the central question of the original post.
Region-free modifications are frequently advertised on Audiogon.
FWIW, my own experience of region-free versions of the BDP 95 and 105 has been quite positive: ease of switching region-codes, no degradation in audio or video quality. However, I cannot answer the question about the consequences of firm-ware updates, since I have done none.