I get a ping of around 15 - 30 ms to the official server (think its a few states away), I am 9ms to the isp's backbone..... Lower ping = bettter ... The slow graphics drawing I think is a bug because I just noticed that in .2, and its not cpu, ram, video card or connection related.
Ping (latency) is the rtt (round trip time) in miliseconds that it takes your packets to get to and from the server. If you see a 0 ping that that either means you or someone on your local network is serving or its some type of bug. And if you are the server and everyone else is 600+ then you should lower the max players.. I believe mta:vc bandwidth use is as following (for acceptable gameplay) ...
128kbps upstream, 2 - 3 players
256kbps upstream, 3 - 4 players
and so on (someone correct me if this is wrong)