As a VIM enthusiast I think that you can do a great job using a plain text editor + a terminal. Both Emacs and VIM are great tools with IDE like features, great shortcuts, nice plugins…
I don’t want to bash these editors. As I said, I like them and I use them every time, more than that, I often do my debugging in GDB directly. I think you can do a fine job with these tools once you learn them, and I think that every C++ developer should in fact learn them.
These are some really powerful tools. I admire the developers who can manage a huge codebase using only the terminal but I and probably 90% of the people are more productive using an IDE. I think is OK to do small editing or debugging using a text editor + terminal, once in a while, but for every day programming, serious multithreaded code debugging, navigating through huge code base with lots of dependencies, is overkill. I agree that it’s totally doable but Why would you do that? You don’t go by foot 100km just because you can, right? These days we have cars! We live in a civilized world and we can do programming better. Why spend lots and lots of times searching for some GDB command or searching for the references of a function among hundreds of files? Let the computer to the boring stuff and concentrate on the fun stuff. You can be way more productive using a great IDE, you can navigate faster, you have all sort of mouse + keyboard shortcuts, not speaking about debuggers, breakpoints and so on.
As I said, I have all the admiration in the world for a person who can run 100km but I prefer to take a cab.