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I recently ran into a problem with Apache when setting up a virtual development machine. After changing the DocumentRoot to something more useful all I got was 403 Permission denied when trying to access it. Hours of countless reinstalling I was still getting the same thing, Google was no help either all pages I found offered solutions but none worked for me.
Running out of ideas I began reading through the 'httpd.conf' and low and behold a few lines below where you change the document root I found this
# This should be changed to whatever you set DocumentRoot to.
Which was still set to the original DocumentRoot Path. I changed it, fired up the server and sure enough it was working!. I don't remember ever having to do this on previous Apache installs.
Hopefully this will help anyone else out who's running into the same problem.