- standard *nix editor
- the fastest (to edit with)
- relatively small and light (less of an issue these days, but still a plus)
- more ergonomic (once you remap ESC/CAPS
as you do more with less movement
- full featured.
emacs is at least full featured (a massive understatement for an editor that can browse the web, play chess with you, etc.) and reasonably likely to be installed on any *nix system you have to work with.
as far as i'm concerned the other editors suck faeces through a straw, but obviously some people love them, so it's good that they're around. i was grateful for nano in my first few hours on gnu/linux, when vi seemed strange and evil and i just wanted something that worked a bit like notepad.