Being a vim guy who uses it exclusively for PHP development, I can say that if you are willing to get around the [steep] learning curve, it pays off tremendously. Not knowing emacs at all (with the exclusion of the fishbowl-shaped variety), I can't argue its merits or lack thereof, and the internet has done so ad nauseum already.
If you need quick-and-dirty, and still have access to your Windows computer, you could always use WinSCP (or perhaps Filezilla client using SFTP, though I've yet to test that) to access the Pi's filesystem, and have it open .php files using your Windows editor of choice. Basically, it creates a local temp copy for you to modify, and when you save changes it gets persisted back to your SSH endpoint. For the record, I use this technique to get access to my Windows system's installation of GVim
-- but it would work just as well with any other text editor.