Since it's a gear driven pump
Isn't it belt-driven?
It's belt driven but all the pump is is just a couple of gears that spin and create a suction, as long as they can still turn, the pump itself should be okay. I assume that the pickup screen is there to prevent all that larger [censored] from getting into the pump and seizing it up. Correct me if I'm wrong.
That's good but as wolf? said above, the PCV system is probably clogged up too. It cost several hundred dollars in parts and similar in labor to replace mine in my GTI 1.8T, totalling over $500. Clogged system increases the contamination of the oil, so if you don't want to replace the system, you'll have to reduce the oil change interval by some significant (but can't quantify) amount before reaching the deposit growth stage.
My deposit prevention mainly consists of using Amsoil ACD oil changed between 3500 and 4000 miles. I'm still learning after having 107K miles on my GTI what to do and not do.
I can live with that to save 500 bucks.
No, the pump will not be fine. There have been many cases in which oil pressure was ok, but flow to the bearings is compromised. VW does the BG flush and oil pump replacement as part of the sludge campaign. I would replace the pump if you are going to keep the car. You either have to raise the engine or remove the frame crossover to drop the pan. I would pull the valve cover and clean up any sludge on the head.
Now I do not want to scare you but the AEB model 1.8t (1998-1999) have had massive timing belt problems, the tensioner specifically. If you are over 60k miles and are not sure of the history of the car, DO NOT RUN IT UNTIL THE TIMING BELT AND TENSIONERS ARE CHECKED. You really do not want to do a valve job on that head. The $1200 you already spent are nothing compared to other things that will go wrong with Passats. Passats are very picky cars and if they are not maintained to perfection, are one of the most expensive cars to own, OEM parts are usually of poor quality and high in price. Everything on these cars should only be touched by a specialist, a imprudent mechanic can ring up a $2000 repair bill with a keystroke. VW/Audi systems are complex and unless you have a VAG-COM a typical scan tool may erase important info stored in the computer.
If you are nearing 100,000 miles, do a full tune up, use only VW spark plugs as non OEM ones may fry the coils, replace everything on the PCV system, a timing belt change may be needed so while the front of the car is apart do the water pump and thermostat and all belts, remove and clean any oil in the intercooler and double check all operation of turbo system. By turbo system I mean diverter valve, make sure the actuator rod is not sticking, and consider a reman turbo. The KKK (Borg Warner) K03 turbos are sleeve bearing turbos and are not long lived to begin with, and running with a coked engine may have killed it. You will notice a lack of boost and/or oil in the intake or excessive smoking out the exhaust. There are other known problem areas that will need attention later, but this should be a good start. If you do not have cash to spend on fixing this car, and serious money to spend down the road, sell the car. You will just get frustrated. Yes a Passat will go 200k miles, but the people who have done that have repair bills that are close to $10,000, which is what it also cost my friend to get his to 150,000 miles. Oh, and run only VW 502.00 approved oil, the Passat/A4 longitudinal engine layout has a smaller sump than on the Jetta/Golf transverse layout so proper oil is a must. And run the larger filter (forgot the part number).
This is a Passat, 52,000 miles.