Unless you are a professional racer, I doubt you will ever push a Versys past it's design envelope. I have had all of the current Sportbikes Liter bikes as well as 600cc Sportbikes. And all I can say is it is more fun to ring a 600's neck than it is to ride all day in third gear on a liter bike. most of the Current Liter bikes will do 100 mph in First gear.
And you also said you wanted a commuter and a 2 up bike, The Versys is perfectly suited for all of those task.
I ride with all Sport bike guys in AR, Gsxr's Busa's Etc all the big Hp bikes. Guess who is always leading, Me the lowest Hp bike of all.
If you are looking for some great HP, that is smooth and commute on as well as 2 up then my suggestion is go with a 1250 Bandit. It has stump pulling torque right off the bottom, and will cruise in the 130-150's all day with out breaking a sweat.
I had to get rid of mine just because of that, it was so smooth you did not realize you were in the triple digits most of the time.
BTW I am on my Second Versys. After I sold my Bandit and my CBR600RR i had $12k in cash in my pocket for a new bike. I looked at everything and decided it was the most fun bike I have ever had, so there is an 09 in my garage right now. I foolishly sold the first one thinking I needed more HP and got the Bandit. I will take a light flickable bike over Hp any day of the week.
For the money, you will be hard pressed to find a better bike than the Versys.
Here is a short list of some of the bikes I have owned in the past few years:
03 Honda BlackBird
05 Honda GoldWing ABS
06 GSXR 1000 Red/Blk
06 GSXR 600
07 ST1300 ABS (used)
06 KTM 450EXC Plated
06 DRZ 400SM (used)
01 Kawasaki Concours (used)
07 CBR 600RR (Yes I bought another one)
08 Kawasaki Versys
06 GSXR 1000 Blu/Wht (used)
08 Suzuki SV650S (used)
05 Yamaha YZF600R (Track Bike) (used)
06 CBR 600RR (Track/Street) (used)
08 Bandit 1250S
09 Versys (used) (Current)
07 FZ6 (Current)
02 DR650 (Current)
01 ZR-7s (Current)
just my $.02 worth of useless knowledge