The very first text editor 3649
You might also try, if you haven't already, the other major player in the long-running Unix Editor Wars, namely vi (or one of its clones-successors). I'm a vim user, and some of what it provides sounds a little like the Q-register thing you describe. Overall I think the functionality is pretty similar to what emacs provides, but the interface is different.
The very first text editor 3651
Reread what I wrote within the context of a person who is editing professional (as in key puncher or secretary). If I had to an emergency...
But as you say below, it takes a long time to get up to speed with any of these, to the point where you can focus on what you're actually trying to do rather than the editing commands, so making the transition from one to another is time-consuming and irritating.
The very first text editor 3650
oh, I didn't think I could leave the room. :-) I think it's downright stupid if you want to do anything useful. I was trying to remember my...
(Sort of an aside to Barb: There are supposedly versions of emacs and vim that run under Windows. So there *are* powerful and concise editors that can be used in that environment -- but I suspect that the only people who bother are those who have encountered these editors in other environments and become attached to them. Everyone else seems to like editing in a way that involves a lot of mouse use, plus those keys with names on them (Home, End, arrow keys, etc. -- the ones that didn't exist in the Good Old Days and whose presence still seems a bit wrong to me). )
-- B. L. Mbuttingill ObDisclaimer: I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.