Did you have the patches repository enabled? It isn't by default in Standard (known bug) and needs to be for a:
or the equivalent in gslapt to work properly. See: http://www.vectorlinux.com/forum2/index.php?topic=3681.0
for more info.
My working VL copy has been upgraded this way since a few days after initial release on a regular basis. The only current problems are:
1. New abiword-plugins package requires aiksaurus, which isn't in the repository. It just won't upgrade but it also won't break things.
2. wifi-radar -- my bad as the package isn't named the same as the old one. I need to correct this. For right now do the following:
slapt-get --install wifi-radar
That will get you the nice, new 1.9.8 version.