This is exactly the reason I decided to make what is probably a lifetime choice to use vim going forward. The vim defaults are ideal for general purpose editing. It's true an IDE or the right modern editor might have things set up with nice defaults for x or y language, but pick five editing tasks at random and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better editor out of the box than vim.
Being able to competently edit any file out of the box on any system affords me a great mental flexibility. It lowers the barrier for learning new languages, or even switching platforms (I like OS X now, but I don't want to be locked in forever when Apple dials up the consumerification to 12). The main disadvantage is that vim really can't compete with IDEs for boilerplate-heavy verbose languages like Java, but I'm not particularly interested in learning languages like that.
Now it's true that I will tweak my config and go and seek out some plugins to enhance my core workflows slowly over time, but that's just the icing on the cake. Mainly I focus on mastering core vim and I do with reasonable confidence that the investment I'm making now will pay dividends 10, 20 and 30 years from now.
> On top of that the whole "language of editing" and combining noun,verb,adjective commands, etc... doesn't really appeal to me because I'm too visual when I'm editing code. I can't stop to think about the right semantics about what I want to do, I just do it visually.
It's one thing if you like a polished GUI and you just can't feel good about vim's lack of polished OS integration and GUI features, but with regards to thinking about semantics, these commands all become muscle memory and you end up doing most of them on a subconscious level that is hard to describe unless you've experienced it. I wouldn't write it off based on the assumption that it wouldn't work for a "visual" person.