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That "horrible editor" is immensely powerful and easy to use once you take the time to learn it.
As the saying goes, it's very user-friendly, it's just quite selective about who its friends are..
If you don't seen any advantage in using it, it's very simple: Don't. If you really want to know why others do, run through vimtutor, google some basic tutorials, and look at the vim web page to find out just how much it can really do.
vi (vim--whatever) is in a class of CLI editors which maximizes power and speed, but requires you to learn a bunch of commands. If you do not need its features then don't bother with it.
Have you tried NANO?
In fact I have done the vimtutor, and I have spent some afternoons trying to learn vim from some tutorials... it is not so much difficult, but I dont find anything that I say this is a must to, that Kate does not offer me... that is why I want something that hooks me. I dont understand then why do people love vim over the intuitive Kate. (However, my best editor ever is ULTRAEDIT, in Windows)
BTW, I think I can do editing with SSH using also Midnight Commander, and that also does not require too much graphical power, and that editor is not bad, and it is quite intuitive.
Like other posters said, there are multiple reasons for using vi(m). 1. It's run from the console, so you don't need to be running X, and has a great deal of features.
2. Just about every linux box has it installed as a default package, even ancient distibutions. So you can learn just one, albeit painful, editor, and be ready to go on any linux box you're on.
3. It has a bunch of features, many of which (I believe) are designed to assist with programming and scripting, which other editors do not have.
Otherwise, I agree with you; it can be a pain if you don't know what you're doing. If you don't like it, don't use it.
I personally like 'nano', which is a clone of the old 'pico' editor that came as part of the 'pine' email package. 'nano' is very intuitive as a CLI editor.
Vi/Vim becomes second nature when you're using it day in and day out. One of the really powerful features that is highly productive us you never have to take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse (a pro and a con). you can use the command line to do regular expressions multi commands, and something close to a macro in Vi. all without taking your twitching fingers off the keyboard to help productivity.
You asked for an example of what vi can do and Kate can't. It's not something you do every day but how about in one command inserting a tab at the beginning of the line only in lines 5 though 20. Another cool vi feature is whatever command you last did just hit the . key to redo. Delete the next few words from the cursor with a :3dw go to command mode =: execute '3' of the next command and of course d=delete w=word.
I use vi where needed and I use the appropriate IDE when I develop. Kate is in my hot list because I use it for cut and paste as well as normal editing with a mouse. When you're in a console window it's easier to do vi file vs kate filename, wait for kate to launch the gui and edit using keyboard and mouse, and save.
It's not going to win a beauty contest...but in the productivity arena for quick editing it's has what's needed. It's all personal preference in the end.