The guide should work in the very specific configuration that I've listed. When you add variable like desktop vs. server installation, then there are no guarantees. It introduces more variables to the mix. I think it should work, but there might be some issue with some version of some file.
Regarding your ifconfig question, something might be wrong. On my server when I ifconfig, only the br0 has an IPv4 address. The eth0 and tap0 do not.
Wicd is another variable. I don't know how it handles VPN clients. If it has no provision for them, then you will need to find a guide that tells you how to install a VPN client without network manager. You will have to ensure that all settings match the default client settings that I show in the guide.
The guide was written and is running on a machine that has only one NIC.
A few more thoughts for you...
1) If you are setting up virtual machines, then setup a server instead of a desktop. It only takes a few minutes and will remove any doubt about the configuration.
2) Make sure your test machine connecting into the VPN is on a different network. (i.e. ifconfig reports different 192.168.x.x for the server and client before the connection is made.)
3) Check the server and client VPN logs. Let me know if you get specific error messages.
I'm traveling this weekend, so it may be difficult for me to respond timely. Good luck. I know how frustrating this can be.