I've used Vim for about 3 years now. The next step, plugins. A bare vim is just usable, but the plugins make it a home. I use the Vundle package manager, which plugs into vim pretty nicely, but there are a few others too. I remember trying to learn vim though, the hardest part for me was definitely learning the hjkl. It took about a month of being completely useless before I was able to move around reliably and start getting work done. I've really only used vim on the terminal. I love the terminal, it is what changes the OS into your full IDE, which is not something that vim is intended to be. With regard to escape key, definitely recommend remapping escape and caps lock (unless you use Fortran or something). Escape is way more useful, and caps lock is a waste of prime real estate.
I would also recommend trying Emacs as well while you are trying out different editors. The plugins for emacs tend to be slightly more polished, and at least for my purposes, Org-mode makes it almost vital to normal functioning. Vim was not intended to be an end-all program for doing everything in development, so while the plugins can make it appear to be a full IDE, it will get slow. I mean, really slow. This seems to be especially true in vim + LaTeX + tmux, where with all the syntax highlighting and fancy plugins, it would take roughly 10 seconds to move the cursor one character. Emacs, on the other hand, is very smooth. Under normal circumstances, vim is great. Good luck with your adventures.
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