As of 2014, if you want to get better than the 1024x768 resolution offered by the Cirrus vGPU, and you are running KVM as your hypervisor on an x86_64 hostOS platform, you should look into using the QXL vGPU driver in the guestOS, coupled with the spice-server display. This can be configured from your virt-manager GUI settings (or of course from CLI args).
In my case, I created the VM using virt-install, put the OS on the vHDD using the normal vnc-style control and the normal cirrus-vGPU. Once everything was working, and all guestOS (and hostOS) software updates had been applied, I used virt-manager to change from vnc-display to spice-graphics, and from cirrus-video to QXL-video. It also helps to add the 'channel' to your VM for spice-vdagent[d] running inside the guest, which allows you to cut-n-paste data in between guestOS apps and hostOS apps pretty decently.
Besides offering high resolutions, the QXL/spice setup was a big improvement over the Cirrus/VNC setup when watching videos in the guestOS -- I actually got some thermal-trip warnings from the CPU when attempting to watch fullscreen videos in 1024x768 Cirrus/VNC, but the laptop ran cool and the fans were quiet when doing fullscreen 1920x1080 video with the more-efficient QXL/spice option. There are limitations on what sort of installations are supported by QXL/spice, but if your system(s) can use them, they are recommended for improved 2D and video-playback. http://www.linux-kvm.org/page/SPICE , scroll down to "Enabling SPICE using virt-manager". I wasn't prompted to add the channel, as the page claims, but it wasn't hard to add manually. If you are working with windows-guestOSes, or having trouble with the brief instructions at the linux-kvm.org site, see here -- http://www.spice-space.org/page/Documentation (but beware both the wiki and the main site are WOEFULLY out-of-date with many pages from 2009 through 2012, so tread carefully). The project is actively developed, but not very actively documented.
QXL/spice is not especially straightforward at the moment, and may not work in your desired software/hardware enVironment. Still, with a bit of elbow-grease it can be made to work, and the upside is significant (especially if battery-life and/or fan noise are concerns). You won't get truly high performance graphics -- investigate VFIO and VT-d/IOMMU passthru for that possibility iff you have the specialized CPU+GPU hardware needed and plenty of time to try and get it working. QXL/spice gives decent 2D and video-playback speed, though.