Enter the dockXtender from CableJive. This is a 2 or 6 foot cable with male and female 30pin connectors on the ends. You can place your iPad on a nightstand and still use it with that small iPhone clock radio! It's a simple idea but done well and worth keeping in your gadget bag.
Another related gadget that CableJive offers is the dockStubz. I've used this for several rugged cases that cover up the iPad or iPhone just enough that I can't use a traditional cable or dock. The dockStubz just adds an inch or so of depth, but it's just what is needed for certain cases. Also, while there is a 30pin pass through, they also include a microUSB port so you can sync ormcharge your iOS device with just such a cable.
I haven't tried this, but it could be a solution to using the VGA cable while connected to a source of power. Otherwise, Apple's VGA cable uses the 30 pin connector and does not provide a way to charge the iOS device. This can be a problem when presenting on a low battery!
Some of the cases that the dockStubz really helps with are the SuperShell from M-Edge, the Widge from x-doria, and the iPadFLEX from UZBL.