Here are my 2€ about GNU Emacs…
My first experience with it wasn’t a good one, after 2 hours of complete frustration I gave up and buried it (period), at that time I was using different editors to do different tasks, I was using eclipse for coding, Vim for editing configuration files,gEdit for quick notes and OpenOffice.org Writer for documentation and complex documents.
Does it sounds familiar to you??? Do you use N different editors for M different tasks? All editors have limitations, it’s obvious and it’s a matter of time until you find them. At that point you start searching plugins, reading gigantic API’s in order to extend them, or start looking additional editors for the specific task you need to do, you feel frustrated and most of the time you end up working the way the editor makers tell you to, but probably not the most efficient way to you.
I was lucky because one of my colleges was an advanced emacs user, so when I saw him working it was like watching Joe Satriani playing guitar, he was doing complex tasks and at the same time it looked so easy. He encouraged me to give it a second try, but this time he said
”..use it for two weeks no matter how frustrated or lost you feel…”
So after two weeks I was totally into emacs, I gradually started replacing editors with emacs.
The greatest thing about it (the real motive I started using it), is its extensibility, it is God damn so easy to make it do what you want it to do when you want it to do, and after couple weeks anybody can make emacs, for instance, upload files using rsync whenever you save a file, or format your code pressing a key combination, or whatever you want, it is that easy!
I encourage you all to give it a try, but rules are: do it for two weeks straight and to try to extend it from the first day.