Having returned to Emacs after years in the wilderness, I found this post accurate and amusing.
Myself - I'd put myself at Stage 2.75. While I use packages, (Gnus, Org, Python/C/SQL modes) I don't really use Emacs macros at all. Or that fancy multiple cursors feature.
Coincidentally, I am currently trying to wean myself off multiple terminals and use eshell with Emacs. I also need to use tramp instead of ssh'ing into multiple servers. Years ago, I did use ange-ftp and J-shell extensively so I seem to have regressed over the barren years in the wilderness.
My knowledge of [e]lisp is non-existent and I have no desire to learn that programming language. Ever. My elisp exposure is purely limited to snagging other people's snippets from their 10,000 lines .emacs (lovingly stored and annotated in GitHub), mindlessly copying interesting lines and then spending hours trying to get those darned brackets matched, work out what the code does only to discover it was originally written for Emacs 19 and that variable is no longer used.
However I am trying to improve this recurring state of madness, by simply pausing for thought and thinking 'What exactly do I want to tweak here ?' and try reading the fine Emacs manual.
An example might be 'Despite working for a large IT company, some of my esteemed colleagues are idiots^H^H^H^H^H sales reps with malformed email From: headers. I an't tell you how irritating I find this. The pedant in me sends them a terse email and fixes this in BBDB V3 but Gnus still shows me the flawed version. Ideally I'd like Gnus to use the (correct) BBDB Full name if that person's email address is found in BBDB.
I am convinced I did precisely this in 1998 but now we're onto BBDB V3, Gnus (Version 98.84 'DingBatsExtraShot') lots of other things have changed and inevitably I didn't keep a self documenting .emacs.org
and carry it around with me for 20 years.
Supercite - must check if Barry Warsaw's SuperCite mode is still alive and well.
But I'll get there. In fact, my new life goal is to unlock Level 6 - 'Emacs-ifying everything'. Well, everything I care about. I am sort of on the way with Gnus (email, mailing lists, newsgroups, RSS), Org, Jabber and ERC.