It's gotten to the point where I use a tiling window manager on my Linux distro with all controls Vim style. I have a Firefox add-on to give it Vim controls , and I use Vim for basic word processing. I can control almost every part of my OS, excluding Skype, purely through my keyboard with virtually no mouse involvement.
It's all very addicting once you get used to it.
Also: many text editing actions can go from conscious (using a mouse) to subconscious (using the keyboard + muscle memory).
I am definitely not a seasoned or prodigious programmer, but I find that most of my time is spent on reading, understanding, or planning code. By the time I begin coding, I will already have a strong idea of where I want to go, and I spend very little time actually typing or editing. The same is true for essay writing -- by the time I pick up the metaphorical pen, I have already finished most of the essay in my head, with only trivial details to hammer out.
Therefore, why not select the metaphorical pen which you find most enjoyable? For me, I choose Vim. And sometimes Sublime Text.
In the end, the best editor is the one you can leverage the most.
I agree though that there's no reason every programmer must try and learn vim; there plenty other editors out there, and if you're productive with one, there's no reason not to stick with it. Still, people want to try because they're curious, and if vim lives up to its reputation for them, well.. good for them I guess?
except that it can run in a terminal, which is nice on remote servers or in tmux
I agree, switching to Vim just because it is fashionable is a dumb move.
For the record, if ST had been available for Linux and Mac OSX at the time I was looking around, I'm 100% sure that it would have been my choice.
I think a person who is going to do anything with UNIX/Linux owes it to him or herself to learn either Vim or Emacs, if only for the occasional editing that needs to be done over a remote terminal connection. There are other editors, of course, but these are powerful ones.
I agree with you though. Basic vi usage for quick edits is part of UNIX/Linux literacy.