The biggest gripe I’ve had with emacs — alright, besides the finger-breaking key combo’s ;-) — is that it is just plain ugly. It just doesn’t fit with my beautiful gtk desktop with anti-aliased truetype fonts. Gvim got this right a long time ago.
But, no longer does this have to be true:
I already knew about the gtk interface, but I never heard of the xft support. I got the instructions from EmacsWiki:
$ cvs -z3 -d:pserver:email@example.com:/cvsroot/emacs co -remacs-unicode-2 emacs
$ cd emacs
$ ./configure --with-gtk --enable-font-backend --with-xft
$ make bootstrap && make && sudo make install
$ emacs --enable-font-backend --font "Bitstream Vera Sans Mono-10"