it's not as if bare bones software hasn't produced a drool worthy product. they have, and i have a feeling that with their almost rabid user base to support them that they will continue to do so. unfortunately, it's really hard to get a geek to change their weapon of choice. to paraphrase danny o'brien':
everyone [including alpha geeks] uses exactly one app
i'll admit that i'm not as grandiose as the people who use vi or emacs, but i've grown rather accustomed to nano - which is a direct descendant of pico. i've compiled it on every unix box and shell account i have that's lacking it - and i've "make install"-ed it on all the ones i have root on. when i made my switch to the mac back in november of 2003, it was the first thing i compiled after installing the developer tools.
then, while searching for a gui based editor i found subethaedit. the price was right [see: free] and the feature set was cool [see: collaborative editing, live html preview] so i ran with it. the first time i used it as a collaborative editor for an html document i grabbed via sftp, i knew i wanted no other editor. nano was delegated for useage on hosts which i couldn't get a gui on or sftp into. an ex-girlfriend who i knew could still do a couple things the new one couldn't. the spurned lover i'd come back to on occasion, but only when it suited me.
recently, i stumbled onto a new text editor by the name of smultron. it had the sexy sheen of new software and it was anxious to show off some of it's new tricks. reg exp searching, a single window interface, whitespace cleanup, code snippets and a find drawer all stood out as reasons to give it a try. and after testing it out for a few days i found it's interface nice but i just couldn't get comfortable. besides, my sftp client didn't support it as an external editor and learning it's eccentricities was putting a drag on my workload. i'm sure it's a very nice editor that'll make someone very happy someday, but it's just not for me. needless to say, i switched back to subethaedit.
the nice thing about text editors is, when you suffer from infidelity you never have to buy them flowers.