I haven't used vsftpd yet but...
the settings in the vsftpd.conf file should be like:
It is important to note that it is an error to put any space between the option, = and value.
also from the vsftpd MAN page:
An optional [configuration file] may be given on the command line. This configuration files has to be owned by root. The default configuration file is
are you sure you gave the configuration file while starting vsftpd?
Finally you should give the site http://www.vsftpdrocks.org
a try.. It holds you hand through the whole process.
I hope that helps.