I am currently setting up Google Apps for Education as our VLE / Website. The great thing with it is the pupils get to write files and documents using Docs (bit like office) which they can access from home so they end up using the same system in school and home for all their work.
was in a meeting with representatives from around 20 schools the other day and they were asking the exact same question. Even the ones that were heavily behind VLE's and using it well were really questioning its need, simply due to its cost. I'm not a teacher but I'm not sure they need a VLE, would a free storage area, blog and the use of various free resources not be enough especially in the current climate?