Bittorrent is fantastic, but as PirateBay has shown, it likely won't be around forever. Governments are willing and able to shut down or block every bittorrent tracker site that pops up long enough to have any credibility or usefulness. I've had some friends get cease and desist orders - some even had their ISPs to shut down their service. People are using VPNs to get around such tracking, but even those are getting IP blocks or shut down. Governments are investing a lot of money into hardware, hacking, and spying to help shut down P2P networks. The Hydra theory - lop off one P2P head, and 2 take its place is not going to work when your ISP and your government both are snooping on everything you do - and everything everyone you connect to is doing. Even Tor and other networks are easily breached.
I don't disagree that the region restrictions suck for the end user - especially one that travels. But, that's not the point. The system is the way it is for valid reasons. You're dealing with an entire industry and multiple countries - not just a single corporate entity that can change its mind on a whim. It doesn't help that the EU is largely an economic union and not a political one. I don't know, but it's possible Netflix may have to have additional legal paperwork and/or negotiations for each country involved. There may be things the EU could do to ease such business negotiations within the EU for member countries. I suspect the difficulties have more to do with the various languages and cultures of the regions and trying to cater to each, but additional negotiations and time spent would cost money as well.
You have to ask yourself whether you're willing to pay for the service you describe, and if so, how much? Will it be worth it to all parties involved? If not, then why would they offer it? They're fine with not giving you a service you aren't willing to pay their price for, and you're fine with pirating the content and taking your chances with a fine or lawsuit. TV shows in the states run roughly $2/hr per household per episode from commercial sponsors. To deliver that content to you, you'd have to find a way to pay at least that much either directly or through finding commercial sponsors willing to show ads targeted to your demographic to pay for you to watch them - plus cost of whatever technical and legal hurdles to set it up for you. US series generally run 11 to 13 episodes per season, so you'd be paying between $20 to $25 minimum per season for each tv show unless you are willing to sit through ads and find someone who will pay to run ads just for you (and/or others using the service that fit your demographic. It would scale better with others.) Just selling the advertising in a region for a show can be a full time job. As to why shows are released in the states before the EU - I assume a show created by ABC, for example, would first run on ABC plus a few re-runs, then be packaged for sale to an EU network not owned by ABC for a price based upon the US ratings and EU demand, and then the EU station would set up negotiations for EU sponsors for the content and find a time slot. That negotiation would take time - plus any dubbing and subtitle translation work. If ABC owned the networks in both countries and knew EU demand was such that the show was a hit, they might simulcast, but I doubt it. I've seen the reverse happen with shows like Merlin - made for Britain, then 5 months later air on a different network in the USA. There's no language issue for the show between the UK/Canada and USA, but it still took 5 months or more to air. My guess is Syfy was showing its own programming in a time slot while SkyOne was showing Merlin, and if and when Syfy decided it could free up a slot, it paid to pull in Merlin. SkyOne probably did the same thing with some Syfy programming. So, each plays its own content, then swaps and plays the other network's if it works for them. They have the option of just not picking up a show if it stinks and going with something else.
Each content producer does what is in its best interest, each network chooses the content and time slot that works in its best interest, and no one really cares to restructure their business for the convenience of consumers. They want maximum profit. The only way to really get to a consumer-oriented model is for streaming content distributors to make their own content - like Netflix with Orange is the New Black. They know who watches the show, instantaneously know the ratings, and they don't create the content for advertisers - it's straight to consumer, paid for by Netflix subscription only.
I have a feeling that Netflix would be insanely happy to make you personally an individualized package of HD streaming content at high speeds with licenses for all 10 countries you visit and impeccable release times for only 1 Million Euros a month. Why, I bet they'd even come out and dig a trench for fiber optics at each location you visit for an extra 20%. Most of that money will go towards Netflix hiring lawyers and contractors to negotiate licenses for each and every content owner for the individual TV shows and movies you personally want to watch... and then some for the hardware, the digital transfer, and the subtitle creation. I'm sure they'll still turn a tidy profit. I'd love to see the look on the negotiators' faces when they specify the license is for 1 individual for instantaneous global streaming capability. You're half right that most money goes to lawyers. Most lawyers for large corporations are on salary, so at least they aren't paid by the hour. The lawyers wouldn't be necessary if there weren't so many parties involved and/or deals for global distribution were made up-front. Problem is, no one knows whether or not a show will be a hit, so they don't talk money and global distribution rights until a series has proven itself.
If they offered you a service that was even slightly similar to what you describe, Netflix wouldn't offer it cheap. Content owners wouldn't allow Netflix to provide it cheap. If they did, it might cannibalize other distribution channels. Or, alternatively, maybe Netflix just doesn't see why it should waste resources on that particular content for the region when it could instead invest in more profitable content that might benefit many regions.
If it's any consolation, we get the shaft here in the states, too. We're just now getting TV channels like BBC America where we can watch Dr Who as it's released. Still, we get some Aussie and British produced TV months behind their UK and Australian airtimes. Our Syfy Channel often shows series from SkyOne years late - many times after a series has already been cancelled.
I am a bit surprised you'd have to have a separate account for each country if they're all in the EU. The Euro should help with stabilizing the pricing, but I could easily see how different countries with various regulations could cause issues.
That said, I'd love it if moving forward, contracts started to include global streaming rights and Hulu Plus /Netflix/whatever was set up to allow streaming to the EU the same as in the states (even if there's no translation or subtitles ready). I have no idea how Hulu would handle the advertising for EU streaming, but I bet it could work it out as it can create profiles for users to work with. Hulu might even be working on such a plan as we speak, but by offering EU streaming, they risk not being able to sell their programming to EU cable TV - even if it's 5 months late to air. Is the revenue from catering to paying EU Hulu Plus users worth the hassle and the risk of losing the revenue from the EU cable TV networks? I don't know. Maybe.