I'm pretty new to CL and have been just playing around with it for a year or so. Originally tried the Emacs implementation but it was maddening trying to get used to the text editor and could never figure out how to save and open program files so pretty much everything I did ended up getting lost after I was done with a session; could never build on it. What I've been using for a while now is Allegro CL (v8.2; Free Express Edition by Franz) and it gets me by because it is pretty user friendly but it lacks the power of the full edition which would cost around $600. So, if I ever got past the newb stage, I don't know if I'd really want to drop that much coin on a commercial implementation for personal use.
I understand there are many users of Emacs who really think it is the best and also that there are many who either love it or hate it. I know it is a very powerful implementation. I'd be happy to give it a try again if someone could convince me that it is worth becoming proficient in and could point me to some good resources for getting it set up and up to speed in its use. I mostly use a machine with Windows 7 but also have a Linux box set up (running Ubuntu) that I could use.
Don't want to leave the other tools out so, are there strong feelings for VI, VIM, others?
Looking forward to the feedback!