I’ll confess that although I can use vi, I prefer emacs. If I’m using Linux or the excellent under Windows, it is my text editor (well, actually my environment) of choice.
There’s a great plug in that allows you to edit files on remote machines using emacs, called — amusingly enough — tramp. The home page is at and if you use Cygwin, you might check out: .
The system relies on ssh (well, technically scp). If you want to edit a remote file you just open up a “file name” like /[firstname.lastname@example.org]/home/theal/public_html/index.html and tramp copies it down, allows you to edit the file and then pushes it back to the server when you save it.