Depends on the circumstances really. I'm sort of shy with with large groups that I don't hold much in common with, but not at the GeekUp events. I think that's mainly due to not having quite as much stuff to talk about with non-geek groups.

I don't see this as a particularly bad thing though, geeky gatherings tend to have more interesting conversation such as politics, (non-crap) music, science, arts as well as the techie stuff. I often feel stuck and unable to contribute to the somewhat vacuous conversations that occur in non-geek social situations.

I think the guy you met was one of the variety of geeks that approaches social situations as a soapbox for their own views. This is common, but naive and comes across as egotistical. I've learnt over the years that conversations go much better if you keep your opinions to yourself initially and feed the conversation with open-ended questions.

...oh and as a vim-using PHP developer, I suspect he's unfamiliar with the power it yields. Preferring the safety of a nice GUI. What a n00b... :-)