I think our best hope is with FCC complaints like this: Verizon Answering to FCC Over Nexus 7 "Block"
Lucky for us, VZW uses part of the 700MHz band, that the FCC auctioned off in 2008, with this stipulation:
Owners of this slice "shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice." Verizon is clearly violating FCC regulations – regulations that even Verizon VP Jim Gerace had to acknowledge in a public policy blog during the spectrum acquisition.
Basically, the phone can run on the VZW network, and possibly swapping SIM cards you can trick it into working ( that article is about the 7 tablet, not the new 5 phone).
I wonder if you could take the SIM card out of the Nexus 5, move it into an older phone, activate it, then move it back into the new Nexus 5.
I just reread the spec, apparently the Nexus 5 doesn't list LTE band 13 as supported. This is the 700mhz block C band that VZW has 100% coverage with. It's odd that the chips support every other band in the world except this one. My guess is it's supported but disabled. If it's disabled in the radio firmware that could take awhile for someone with the requisite skills to unblock.
Also, it supports band 4 ( 1700/2100 AWS) which is the new VZW LTE 'boosted' coverage. The one that can do 80Mbs.