I think you got a bargain.
I travel regularly (i.e. every week at least, sometimes twice a week) from Leamington Spa to St Albans (in practice, to Watford Junction followed by a cab). For this, I pay a maximum of £105.00 First (one way) with Virgin if I take the 08.13 peak, or £82.00 if I delay my departure an hour. This is for a total journey time (to Watford) of almost exactly an hour (and that includes changing at Coventry).
Coming back, I travel off peak, and a First single varies between £24.50, £41.00 and £64.00. Again, this is for a journey which is not long (about 1hr 10 coming back).
The service is always, in my experience, fine on Virgin West Coast and it certainly beats between 2 and 3 hours in a car. However, your post demonstrates that you can get very good deals with other franchise operators over much longer distances,