I briefly used UE during a training course, as that’s what was installed on the classroom PCs. I can’t say it’s a bad editor.
I agree with everything Andy said above, but I’m not sure he stressed one point enough: If you don’t like something about MEW, you can probably change it.
There’s a compiled kernel, which isn’t modifiable, beyond the configuration options, but a HUGE chunk of MEW is written in it’s own macro language, CMAC, and full source is provided.
That sounds vaguely important, so let me repeat it: FULL MACRO SOURCE IS PROVIDED.
Although it’s completely possible to use MEW out of the box, the huge array of configuration options (which leads to the less-pretty dialogs Andy mentioned) allow you to tailor many aspects of what MEW is going to do for you – code formatting, HTML tag editing and reformatting, etc.
If the configuration options don’t do it for you, as a developer, jumping into the CMAC source is a fairly easy thing to do. It will be even easier shortly, as MESI is working on a significant overhaul of the macro documentation. Once you’re writing CMAC, your options are almost unlimited. Personally, I’ve written a number of add-on panes that work inside the MEW navigation and tool panes to perform specific things I like to keep handy. You can build your own dialogs, as well.
You specifically mentioned HTML in your post. I’m not a major web developer, although I do some ASP work. MEW offers a number of handy features there:
The Common Code manager is great for updating standard stuff across all your pages – copyright notices, menu bars, whatever – in one easy step.
Weblair provides quick toolbar access to a stack of HTML tags, and an edit box that will prompt you for the appropriate options for that tag. If you’ve got TopStyle (or the free TopStyle Lite) MEW will let you use that to apply a style to the tag while you’re editing it.
The built in FTP will let you quickly send your entire project to the web server.
From an xBase standpoint, there’s an Add-On for MEW called Evolve. I’ve never worked with xBase, so I don’t have a lot to say about it. I believe MESI has just announced that Evolve will be included in MEW 9.1 at no additional charge. For features, take a look at: http://www.hallogram.com/multedit/evolve/ and see if it looks like something that would be useful to you.
Obviously, any information you get on the MEW support site is going to be somewhat biased in favor of MEW. I’d suggest that you grab the free demo for each – MEW gives you 30 days, and UE gives you 45 days, I believe – and try them out so you can make your own comparison, based on how you work.