Weclome to CS!
The VV is a good little machine that will do just fine for two people. To get good results you will definitely need to depressurize the portafilter. This is easy. Search this forum to find out the details (basically unscrew the bottom, pull out the plastic mechanism and poke the false floor out of the top half...screw the base back on).
You will then need a decent tamper. I sent my basket to Greg Pullman in WA (one of the site sponsers) and had one made to fit...and excellent piece of equipment but you can get cheaper ones. Youll need one thats about 53mm in diameter. Check out other site sponsers <-------
Another option is to check out the second machines in the "for sale" section of this site. I think Flynnus might have a gaggia for a good price. Are you really that attached to the cups?
Second hand Silvias also pop up regularly for around the $500 mark. They are a superior machine to the VV.
As others will no doubt mention...a good grinder is the limiting factor. It doesnt matter if you spend $2000 on a machine. If you buy pre-ground coffee, your results will be poor. You should consider spending more on the grinder than on your low end machine. Decent grinders start at around the $300 mark (I think that there are a couple of good ones in the for sale section as well...Iberital challenge, Ascaso Mini, Rocky, etc.) A good quality grinder (and fresh beans) will get good results from an entry level machine.
Enjoy the plunge, and feel free to post further questions,