Apologies, life and small children got in the way, as well as a dead laptop battery. Whilst I was doing some testing last night, I realised that all my stuff was on my external HD at work, so I downloaded the source, dev kit and VJ again. I got the same results as you. However, when I got to work this morning, I fired up VJ and painter from my external HD, and it worked fine. I also copied over the .cof I generated last night into my VJ software folder, and that worked. Looking a little bit further, it seems I have two different versions of VJ - 2.1.2 (which doesn't load the .cof file), and 2.1.0 (which does).
I'm just looking for an old laptop so I can install my skunk drivers to flash the file - corporate policy prevents me from disabling the driver signing check in Windows 8.1