VRPC is expensive, but not prohibitively so. If it was able to run a future shared-source version of RISC OS, then the price might fall further.
In fact, though it may be unpopular with some, this is my preference for RISC OS's future: a company (perhaps ROL, perhaps Castle, perhaps VirtualAcorn) earning their money by providing a commercial emulation layer for fast modern hardware. The OS itself being developed on a shared or open-source basis, hopefully in consultation with the emulator people. And application development as it is.