Dirk Terrell has an excellent piece in the August Sky & Telescope on using PHOEBE to study eclipsing binary stars. I would hope it might stir up more interest in VSO among the many readers of that magazine.
I haven't used PHOEBE (yet) but I have a copy of Binary Maker which appears to do very similar work as PHOEBE and I found it very interesting. I would use it more if there were some way to get radial velocity readings from typical stars. I know there are many active amateurs doing spectroscopy but I don't know their 'parameter space,' ie, how much resolution is needed for EBs of what period and what magnitude, aperture needed, etc. It seems to me stiking up a collaboration among amateurs doing light curves and amateurs doing spectroscopy might be more prolific than looking for professional help?