An early proponent of the latter strategy was [Doug Englebart] of SRI (the same person who invented the computer mouse). His "NLS" system was hard to learn, but very powerful once you'd learned it. This strategy is sometimes called [Sharpening the Saw].
Advocates of VI and Emacs are on Englebart's side, authors of GUI editors are often on the opposing side. Even [Alan Kay], who helped invent the windows-icons-mice paradigm at [Xerox PARC], admits that Englebart had a point.