If contacting them via whois information and making an offer isn't successful, you could try to back order the domain. I actually lost a domain through another registrar once and back ordered it. It took 5 years to get it back but that was the best 20 bucks I ever spent for something web related. If you aren't willing to wait (and hope) for the domain registration to drop, you do have the option of registering a similar domain name or one under a different tld, if available(i.e. something.net instead of something.com). That is what I did when I initially lost the original domain.
Also, not everybody decides to make a website with their domain name. Some use it just for e-mail purposes, irc servers, etc. There are a lot of different uses other than a website really. I would recommend getting a similar domain name and moving on with your day. It could take years, if ever, to secure a certain domain name if it is taken by someone else.