It's been possible to make use of standard out on Linux/Unix for a long time with VW, but it's always taken a bit of work. Over the last two releases, a few things have been done with command line argument processing and sub-system support that make things easier - even on Windows. For instance - try this using a Windows command shell, in the VW 7.4 image directory:
..\bin\win\vwntconsole.exe visual.im -nogui -doit "3 zork"
As you might expect, the #zork message is going to raise an MNU - notice how the stack is reported to standard out? The -gui argument is also useful (-headless does the same thing), and it's been in the system for a couple of releases now. You can start an image with the GUI inactivated without having to do anything special now.