So, from what I gather, the Macbook uses mini display and your monitor is VGA. There are adaptor/cable solutions, but the results will be far from optimal, as you've discovered. As said, VGA is analog and mini display is digital.
For now, try playing with various resolutions to see which looks the best. As you mentioned contemplating a mini display to DVI cable, does this mean your monitor has DVI as well as VGA? Mini display to DVI or HDMI is digital all the way and would be preferable to VGA. Is your location so remote that usual delivery services are unavailable? Many online sources for adaptor/cables.