welcome to cs! *I owned a vv for a few years and it is a very capable entry level machine. *Between the two the vv is a good option provided you either depresurize the group handle (just disassemble and remove the interior components--including the false floor) or buy a non-pressurized one. *this will *improve your shots dramatically. *you will however, need to invest in a decent tamper now that you need to supply the necessary pressure.
secondly, as you pointed out --- buy a grinder! *look around for a 2nd hand on here on cs. *you can pick up entry level grinders that will do adequate work for around 150-250. *spend as much as you can on the grinder! *and get fresh beans (avoid overseas brands) find an aussie roaster with "roasted on" dates and use within 2-3 weeks if you can. see site sponsors <---- or the "brown bay" ^.
the stainless boiler is a good feature. *provided you make these adjustments, the vv is a good machine. *