One of the errors you get from time to time when working with Arduino's in general is
avrdude: initialization failed, rc=-1
Double check connections and try again, or use -F to override this check.
This error covers a multitude of sins. 99% of the time it is due to the chip not being connected to the programmer correctly for whatever reason. Either it is missing, badly inserted or there is a wiring problem between the chip and the 6 pin header. To fix those sort of problem, check the wiring, and don't bother with -F, that could just lead to more trouble.
I tried various solutions to this, apparently adding -B10 (up to -B250) is meant to help by slowing the interface down, and indeed it did, a bit. It got through the chip ID, but failed on the next step. One thing I didn't get around to trying was injecting an external clock into the chip, which might have worked. However, I was keep to get on with the battery powered LCD clock I was working on (more about that later...), so put that chip to one side.
VIC20 repair, I had concluded I needed a new one. The MiniPro programmer seemed quite widely available and had decent reviews. It has a massive list of supported chips, including some neat features like testing 74 series logic chips and SRAM chips. It also had the option to program various microcontrollers. I wasn't planning on using it to program ATMega328Ps, as I normally work in the Arduino IDE, which has no support for this, but easy support for programming using the standard bootloader on an Arduino board, or with the USBtinyISP.
The moral of the tale, when it says 'be careful when setting fuses', it means it!