well, I wouldn't call pedals and the VT silly. When I was using my VT, I would only use the amp sounds (UK 70's was the channel I used almost exclusively) and never the built-in effects. I already had pedals so I figured might as well use them, and I found that they sounded better and the tone was easier to adjust. Some pedals, like a wah, you'll physically need.
craigslist is your friend for pedals. Just keep an eye out and you'll see Boss pedals pop up for like $40.