It sounds to me like you're comparing this apple to an orange. Hurd has some architectural differences that have little practical impact in the current implementation, but bode well for the future.
If you want to use Hurd as a system from which to video chat with your friends tomorrow, well, that might be a challenge. Maybe you should use Linux instead. If you are interested in seeing what the Hurd concepts are about or might bring down the road, you might want to play in this sandbox.
As for why you would want to run a VPN client as other than root, I hope you're kidding. Two trivial answers occur off the top of my head. The first one is that a non-root VPN client means VPN client bugs don't automatically threaten system-compromise. The other is that as a normal user I can take advantage of VPN technology without having to bug the sysadmin and get him or her involved in the key exchange.
For me, the security implications and practical benefits of the differences are exciting. In my mind Hurd is a nice step towards capability based security (instead of ACL based). I hope my theory bears out, but even if it doesn't the modularity is much closer to the unix philosophy as I learned it (small tools that do one thing well) than the monolithic kernel could ever be.