It still looks scary to me, but I can at least open a file, do a simple edit and save. I'm looking forward to the XML mode. Slime, the Lisp editing environment for present in the portage tree, so I installed it with one command (emerge slime-cvs). The Python syntax highlighting is still missing. With a help of the GNU Emacs Pocket Reference from O'Reilly, I managed to write a small report in LaTeX.
Maybe that's strange, but somehow I don't go writing :wq when I want to save and quit.