I have been asked, on several occations, what my take on article editors for Joomla is. Well, as we know, Joomla is a living organism so the best extension today might not be the best to use tomorrow. Another point to consider is that users have extremely different needs.
My Joomla environment contains websites of various shapes and sizes. From being extremely simple registration portals for events, all the way up to websites that need to maintain information for several years, where a number of managers input several article items a day each.
We have, through trial and error, come to the conclusion that only one editor solution is currently extendible enough for such an environment, that is the JCE editor (http://www.joomlacontenteditor.net/).
Out of the box, JCE delivers a simple, yet powerful editor solution that suits most users needs. However, in conjunction with the commercial addons (that the JCE team has clearly put a lot of thought and work into) available at their website, this is so much more. Their 'JCE Media Manager' is, for example, such a nice and powerful tool, that it makes the built-in 'Joomla Media Manager' all but absolite.
My advice is: If you have a site where you need to provide different tools to different user groups, if you need to allow users to work with multimedia, images and different filetypes directly through the article editor, if you want to allow your users to enjoy the simplicity of drag-and-drop uploaders that can handle multiple file uploads without having to choose each file seperately. Don't skimp. Pay the 20 euro (roughly 27 us dollars) to the development team at JCE and enjoy the best editor around today.
Word of warning!
JCE is one of the components that Joomla's update manager is able to update. This is all good and well if you are only using the free JCE editor component. If you are using any of the puchased addons however, these are not updated through the Joomla update manager.
If you find that updating the component 'breaks' the functionality of the purchased addons (such as the JCE Media Manager), you will need to download new addon files from the JCE download site or downgrade your component back to the version you were using before the update.