I'm using a Schecter C-1 Elite with Duncan Designed HB-102's right now, so my tone can only be as good as the crappy DD's will allow. I will do a follow up review later once I upgrade to JB and Jazz later this year...
I play the thing direct into my studio monitors 95 percent of the time, occasionally I'll play the thing live with my TubeWorks MosValve MV-962 poweramp and a Sonic 4x12 which makes for quite a good combination for my cheap ass.
Like everyone else says, the stock presets are crap but with some tweaking you can make some great sounds. Most the presets I've made are based off of stock presets, just a few modifications here and there and I found the sounds I wanted. It just takes some time. The Rocktron Patchbay has a few good user-submitted tones, though. Some of those people really know what they're doing.
The HUSH is a really great feature and it doesn't alter your tone much if you keep it on a low setting. Keeps the buzz and hum out your tone.
The effects are pretty good, especially considering how much you're able to edit them. Not perfect but more than adequate. I'm not too crazy about the quality of the pitch shifter, though. Maybe I just haven't spent enough time tweaking it...
I'm still searching for my perfect distorted tone. I'm going for a Mesa Rectifier sound (like everyone else in creation) similar to Chevelle's Wonder What's Next album and I think I'm getting close-ish. I've nailed the Recto cleans though (well probably not but close enough for me to be satisfied).
The pre and post EQ's are an absolute godsend. If you're willing to learn some things about equalization, frequencies and stuff like that you really can get any sort of sound you want to, direct to board.
The speaker simulator is damn good like everyone says. While there's no presets for 4x12, 2x12, ect. sounds it's very convincing and I've played a few gigs just going direct into the mixer via the XLR out.
The last thing I'll say is that you NEED a power amp with presence control for this thing. Your presets will sound one way in your bedroom but may sound way brighter on a stage when cranked up. Having a presence knob on your power amp takes care of that so you don't have to go tweaking patches for live playing.
I haven't used the thing live very many times but so far it's held up well. It's the only amp I have right now so gigging without a backup is the only option. The only thing that concerns me is what would happen if the tube dies or breaks. Would the thing fail to start up? Would the preamp work as usual but without the extra tube harmonics? I have no idea. Frankly, I dont ever wanna find out.
My overall experience with the VV is a work in progress, but I have plenty of faith that in time I'll be able to get my perfect distorted tone out of it after I upgrade my pickups. I have yet to try it with a tube power amp but I've heard that it really shines in front of one.
I think at $779 it's a bit overpriced right now. It used to be sold $100 or so less until recently. I dont know what they were thinking raising the price with the economy being like it is. You can find these things between $400 and $500 on eBay usually, or on the Harmony Central forums every now and then. Hell, someone's probably selling one right now.
Like me, you may not find perfection right away but stick with it and you'll most likely find tones you'll be quite happy with.
By the way if you have any questions about the thing or wanna bum some patches off of me feel free to send me an email or if you wanna send me some patches and see what I think I'd love to hear from you.