...once was UltraEdit, no doubt. But you had to pay it sixty bucks.
Then PSPad came. And it was (is) freeware and very good.
But the excellence was reach when a GPL, open source product saw the light: Notepad ++.
Today, lots of people are using N++, considering it the best free text editor for Windows out now, and i guess they're right.
This comparison will show you why:
Notepad++ has code folding, automatic multiple highlighting, column mode, a very rich choice of languages for code-coloring, can compare files in an elegant way, and so on... in addition, it uses a very low amount of memory to work, and it's fast like hell.
Downloading the hex plugin (just copy it into your "Program Files\Notepad++\Plugins" folder), it can hex-edit too (Article on Hex Editor Plugin: )
Let's give it a try, i don't think you will ever come back ;)
Official Notepad++ site:
P.S: It lacks of FTP / SSH connectivity, but do you really need such kind of things on a text editor ? Filezilla is there for that ;)