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There's also a "scratch" plugin for vim that offers similar functionality: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=664

Geany has a built-in scratch pane, as well (along with a Terminal and some other handy panes that come included).

For vim, I just open an unnamed buffer (:new). I think this is exactly the same as the scratch buffer in emacs.

The only differences being, when you close vim, the scratch buffer does not yield a save prompt, and also, if you open a scratch buffer, then close it, and then reopen it again with :Scratch during the same vim session, any leftover contents from before (but during that same vim session, of course) will be restored, which is neat/convenient. :)

edit: misread your comment, thought you were comparing :new and :Scratch (linked above), not emacs' scratch. Not sure about that one, but again, the 'reopen scratch -> find leftover contents' functionality is a neat thing.

:new | set buftype=nofile

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