I never used VM1 so I can't compare, but VM2 seems pretty easy to setup get working. There was one hiccup at the end of my setup where there wasn't a good solution for calculating taxes in States like WA and CA, but they recently contracted with AvaTax and now my tax calculations are super easy.
Highly recommend this product if you are using Joomla 2.5!
It is interesting that you did not use VM1, many people who used VM1 maybe expect VM2 to be the same when it is not, and this has caused confusion. Thank you on behalf of the whole VirtueMart community who equally deserve your kind words.