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vi is probably the most useful to learn, but has something of a learning curve to get going. I would still suggest you use it (or vim which is a slight enhancement) or for an easier one you may find nano or pico are already available as well.
1. You can't go wrong learning vi / vim
2. nano seems pretty easy, I've only been using it a couple of days, but ctrl-o writes, ^w searches, ^k dels line, ^u pastes line^x quits. That and ls,cat/more/tail,chomd,chown,cp,rm,grep,find and sudo bash, is all I've needed so far.
With GNOME I am able to use the Alt-E C and Alt-E P to cut and past blocks of text from one shell window to another.
There's an interesting app root, in Ubunto, which is a scripting like C++ version or perl/awk/sed, but I have no specific knowledge about what it does or how it works.
The handy thing about vi/vim is that vi has been part of the std install on all *nixes for yrs/decades.
The others mentioned likely won't be avail on a random system, especially non-Linux eg Solaris/HP-UX/AIX.