alright, quick update.
found a set of side skirts with missing end caps from a guy name Oliver living in bonnyrigg. sounded like a decent guy over the phone and was willing to supply me with some new end caps for a total of $30 (heard ridiculous prices before from others). sounded good so i went by yesterday.
he turned out to be a pleasure to deal with, walking through his current projects and even took me for a spin in one of his cars. he has a Mk3 VR6 that he used as a shell for a 16V ABF engine conversion. he relabelled the car as a 16V GTI and well, it flies in contrast to my 8V 2.slow. i kept mistaking it for a VR6 and i think he was starting to get annoyed by it :P anyway, it's a very fun car to be in, and knowing that it's one of the "simpler" engine conversions, i started to get excited. maybe it's a worthwhile conversion to do later on :) he also has a mk4 GTI with a K04 turbo in it, and a Mk3 1.9 TDI! sounds like a truck when he started it up! but certainly a rareity in australia. he also owns two cabrios, with one having a 2.0L 16V too.
anyway, i showed him a few shortcomings on my car (i.e. the rust spots) and he offered to help out by giving me a tin of white paint and rust deoxidiser. he sold the side skirts for $80 too, so all up it ended up costing $110. good deal knowing that there aren't many side skirts lying around, and even if there are, there will be quite a lot of people seeking them.
plans to come will be to respray the side skirts satin/bumper black like with the bumper tops and side trims, and to attach them on once they're good to go on. he also recommended "sikaflex" to attach the skirts to the rocker panels, so i might try and look for them, rather than use the double sided tape that some recommend.
im getting closer to the look i want :)