First, I like SublimeText very much.
Jon, while items (1) and (2) certainly should be done, aim of item (3) is not so clear. And it seems to be the most hard and time-consuming task. Do you really have to make it? From one side, support of 3D hardware in VM is progressing (vmware workstation claims to have it, VMGL supports OpenGL hardware acceleration in VM). From the other side, Windows Presentation Framework have all graphics (including desktop items like windows) as Direct3D applications. For example Intellipad, new editor from Microsoft (once called Emacs.Net), is built on WPF. Like Sublime, it has its own widgets and so unique look. And it uses some cool graphic effects like smooth font resizing and scrollbars fading, that seems to be from DirectX. Its rendering of text selections is very similar to Sublime’s. So Jon, you are not alone with hardware rendering in text editor. I think that hardware rendering is ST’s strength, not weakness and you should only develop it, generate new ideas and push it further. I once made light skin for Sublime and realized that it’s theming have great potential, it needs just gradual improvement, detalization. I think that not much work must be done to achieve Intellipad-like look (greatest light skin of all editors I saw). So my take is that you chose right line of development, and only have to follow it.