Seems like I spoke too soon. At least for the part of people willing to learn a little bit of Emacs.
Today, had a request for shell editing mode help. Naturally
set -o emacs
is way preferable to vi mode. Not that they were experts in vi mode. Using the emacs mode on the shell command line is definitely more natural than hyper thrashing the ESC key for every move on the command line.
And this was a good find to help them in using it. Particularly Ctrl-r which searches history; much faster than vi's.
Now, the next logical thing is to convince the sysadmins to install emacs somewhere on the Solaris box.