I would also disagree that 40$ is “almost free” 😉 Especially when there are so fine freeware and open source programs.
For me, EmEditor Free is great; also are Notepad++ and Notepad2, which are both Open Source. I just wish that Notepad++ is little bit faster on start, but even now it is better than EmEditor Free (I don’t know about Pro, haven’t tried it). With Notepad2 is different – it is VERY fast, but has no tabs (not so important) and no “clickable URLs” (and I need that very often).
So, I don’t understand why EmEditor Free is not available from emeditor.com (maybe with some small improvements over time). Anyway, that would be nice for not-so-rich countries, where 40$ for “Notepad on steroids” is little bit too much 😀