I think you need to find out and ask yourself the question if you really need an advanced code editor with all those fancy stuff.
There we go…
Each website/project is different. Small or big, simple or advanced, static or dynamic. And there is also a difference between Webdesign and Webdevelopment. They are often mixed or used wrong, but in essence they are 2 different disciplines.
Webdesign is the design, layout and content-structure part, mainly the visual and public client-side parts (HTML,CSS and JS stuff). And Webdevelopment is the dynamic/server-side parts, all the hidden “intelligent, smart and fancy” back-end stuff that is run and processed at the (web)server like PHP for example.
Pinegrow is mainly focused on Webdesign, and has a visual approach (which I like), with visual helpers and visual panels to get things done. Those advanced code editors, like Visual Studio Code / Atom / WebStorm / PhpStorm / etc etc, are more for Webdevelopment and are having a programmers/coding approach. That are 2 different categories. Each have their own set with features and options. Each good for their own purpose and category where they are designed and build for.
In my opinion Pinegrow is outstanding for creating templates, static websites, websites with a little PHP coding, and Wordpress sites. If you building sites/pages in this category, you can build it all entirely with Pinegrow and don’t need an extra fancy advanced code editor. But when you need more advanced features that are more in the category Webdevelopment, then you can maybe better use a code editor for those tasks to complement Pinegrow. Which one to choose is a very personal thing (maybe more later about that).
A little of my own history and experience: In my opinion there was only one program (for my needs) that was good in covering both categories (design and development). That was Macromedia/Adobe Dreamweaver. I used, back in the days, only Dreamweaver for both coding and designing tasks. Then Adobe introduced the Creative Cloud subscriptions, which I refuse to pay because I don’t like to rent software without having a “perpetual fallback license”. So I was stuck with my Dreamweaver CS 5 version. Which was for a long time good enough to work with. But with HTML5/CSS3/jQuery/Bootstrap/responsive sites/etc. I was missing good/better support for these new(er) technologies.
So I started about 2 years ago my journey to find a program to replace my old Dreamweaver version. For the coding part there were a lot of good options available, free and payed solutions. I started with Adobe Brackets (free), but the development of Brackets became not so active anymore so I switched to Atom (free) and also purchased a PhpStorm licence.
For the design part (WYSIWYG) with previews, was it harder to find a good replacement. That’s how I discovered Pinegrow. That was a v2 version at that moment. I liked it right away, it was not perfect but I saw the potential it could become. The step from v2 to v3 was a very big step and Pinegrow was starting to becoming an excellent program. Then it was clear for me, that this was the visual tool I need to replace the WYSIWYG/visual part of Dreamweaver that I was looking for.
A few weeks ago I played a bit with the current/latest Dreamweaver version, to see what it has to offer now a days. It was at a friend of mine, he has a full Adobe CC subscription for the work he does. I must say, I was not impressed by the “responsive design” tools and CSS and bootstrap helpers and panels. A world of difference compared to Pinegrow. Remarkable that a Multi-Million-Billion company, with so much developers, can’t maintain/build a good webdesign/webdevelopment product it was in the past (or maybe it is not an important product anymore for them). And that a small team, the Pinegrow team is only 3 people, is capable to build such an excellent webdesign tool with a lot of powerful and easy to use features.
Back to your initial question. Do you mostly build sites/projects in the Webdesign or Webdevelopment category…??
And when you look at that list with features, that you can find in advanced code editors, I posted. Are there features that you think you need (in your daily workflow). And maybe you don’t need something else and is Pinegrow enough for you to manage and build the sites/projects you want/need. Bigger, more advanced, more “bells and whistles”, is not always better or make you more productive.
And it is also important to choose the “toolbox” that fit your knowledge and expertise level (can’t judge that). I think it is better to have that matched. To use you metaphor of the ladder, if your skills/knowledge/experience is at level 2 (just for the example), it doesn’t make sense and is not always smart to pick a difficult program that is level 5. I think it’s better to grow and take it step by step. Than to choose something that is maybe a challenge and can become a struggle to work with. That’s killing for productivity and only gets you irritated and annoyed. And doesn’t make you happy.