http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/index.jspa is good for people who are actually on the ground.
An alternative to couchsuring is this one which is UK based : https://www.bedandfed.co.uk/
Are you interested in joining a group tour such as those organised by http://www.exodus.co.uk/, or http://www.explore.co.uk/ ? This would be a way to travel and meet people but you might not like the idea of spending that much time with strangers in such close proximity!
I am happy to meet up for a coffee if you are ever in the Middle East :-) almost 6 years ago