the VCT is dead in the water.. The Barra 182 has killed off any chance that the larger aftermarket suppliers will put much R&D into it
This is right to a degree. Think of the VCT as a beta test bed for the Barra 182. The ideas and basic technology was first tried in the VCT on the way to makeing the 182.
As for performance, it can be had, but its not a case of just bolting on any old thing and hopeing it all works. Of course this really applies to all I6's but the VCT just seems to be more fussy. There are plenty of things that can be done to the VCT still, all of which are avaliable right now. Only big thing not out there is a cam change, only JMM has one and it is not a huge gain at all. Still, the VCT has plent of potential and getting over 200fwkw is not really that difficult, just takes cash, as all mods do.
As for putting one in a EF (or any other car), it's a bit of a pain from what I've heard. Not all that simple at all.