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> Will lua 5.1 help?

No (unfortunately).

> Opinions? Suggestions?

If you really need that, you could try to create your own version of
"pcall" that runs its argument as a new coroutine. This new pcall
passes resumes and yields from one coroutine to the other and handle
errors when necessary. Something more or less like this:

  function mypcall (f, arg)
    local co = coroutine.create(f)
    while true do
      local status, val = coroutine.resume(co, arg)
      if coroutine.status(co) ~= "suspended" then
        return status, val   -- error or normal return
        arg = coroutine.yield(val)   -- suspend across `mypcall'

(This is untested code! I hope at least the concept is correct :)

-- Roberto