Isn't one of the console-based editor's advantages that the capability is the same whether you are working on your local X-desktop or via ssh to a remote server? ipython appeals to me as an IDE for its console UI and emacs integration. It always is in the back of my mind that if using a powerful GUI IDE or editor, you're probably going to have to do without it at an inopportune moment on some remote machine.
I would love to use a python-based console editor. Emacs intimidates me, but I'm drawn to its power.
IMO, It would be a very good use of PSF grants to support a two-year iniative to develop pure python editors. Year one, a capable editor back-end in pure python is implemented to support most use-cases of power emacs and vi users, and various IDEs. It wouldn't have much of a UI, but its components would be powerful, portable and extensible.
In year two, grants are awarded to teams who propose to write UI layers for the back-end, resembling or inspired by popular editors such as (X)Emacs, Vi(m) and various GUI editors. The point of departure with the imitated famous editors and the new implementations would be a common python scripting and extensibility API from the year-one project. (e.g. Python scripting instead of Emacs LISP and other heresies).
There are most likely limitless possibilities for a well-designed editor back-end in python.
I'd use it.