If I press ESC to exit Visual Mode after I select some text, there's a noticeable delay before the text gets unselected and I'm returned to Normal Mode (even if I only select 1-2 characters). Can this delay be avoided?
This can be caused by being mapped to some additional functionality. For example, I use the tabbar plugin and it maps 0-9 to switch to the number buffer. Whenever a key is mapped to additional functionality like this, vim waits a few seconds after it is pressed to see if you're going to press any additional keys.
To see if has any additional mappings, run
If does have additional mappings, I do not know of a way to remove the pause, besides removing the mappings. The pause is necessary for vim to unambiguously know what action you intend it to take.