Quite the rant indeed. But I’m glad that you know there is one product in the world that you love. I have yet to find that sort of meaningful relationship.
I too am currently looking for a good editor since I’ve migrated back to windows from linux. I’m leaning towards an ide: Netbeans, Eclipse, and Aptana as standalone since I’m not sure I need everything Eclipse wants to bring to the table.
But at this point I’d settle for a nice editor. I’m considering: Komodo (it has a drupal plugin which would be handy) and UltraEdit (used this in the corporate world and loved it), and I’ve used phpdesigner back when it was free and it was a very useful tool as well. However, if I was going to pay for something it would probably be UltraEdit.
SmashingMagazine had a couple of interesting articles on this subject:
They’re not overly helpful as in "this is the greatest thing ever" but the articles serve as a "here’s what’s out there".