I'm currently using a Kindle Fire outside the US, and I have been able to download applications using 1market.
Netflix also works fine for me. And there is a way of purchasing books: you need to buy the books from amazon using an unregistered account and sending the books as gifts to your kindle account. There are also a lot of sites where you can download books for free. After figuring all this out I've been able to enjoy my Kindle Fire without any problems.