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Have you considered spacemacs? http://spacemacs.org/

I've been using it for a month or so. It's very easy to set up and configure, and it's built with evil-mode in mind. It also has very good modes for development - I use it for Go and everything including completion and hinting function signatures worked right out of the box once the Go layer was installed (which is one line in your .spacemacs)

My problem with Emacs, I'm a bit of a visual person and Emacs doesn't have tabs. There's all sorts of half baked tab system that don't do what the real thing in Vim does.

And everytime someone I ask about this someone point me to some "superior paradigm". It ain't superior if I don't like it :)

I think I have got tabs allright in my emacs, although a tab-layer would be definitely appreciated in spacemacs

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