|Do you know where your variables are?|
> Re emacs: I downloaded it for Windows, and gave it a spin, but it is far too alien to get started. Just selecting text or mousing the borders is all wrong, in the sense of not following the platform conventions or any modern GUI conventions. Is there a GUI-based version of emacs that might be more approachable (as opposed to just running classic mode in a window)?
I'm not advocating emacs, it's just the editor I know the best.
I don't know what "mousing the borders" mean and why you are running emacs in a console.
I would use EmacsW32 or an Xemacs (which cares more about mainstream conventions).
Keep in mind emacs is far older than Perl and has to care much more about backwards compatibility while allowing new fashions. OTOH many GUI conventions were invented for emacs.
But you can still "customize" many things per menu, like cut&past with C-x,C-v,C-z and context menue on right click and opening help screens in separate windows.
In general if you don't like emacs let it be. Komodo and Padre are already very mainstream.