CtrlP was a life saver for a new vim user. It provides a fuzzy file search. I came from Sublime Text 2 which had a similar feature and I really liked it.
Ultimately I ended up using NERDTree more. I found out about this after CtrlP. It’s just a file explorer – which seems rather boring – but in the context of vim, it’s a great tool.
Solarized is a color scheme that just looks cool. It looks great when I launch vim from terminal or MacVim.
Pathogen is a package manager for installing all the above.
Here’s my .vimrc on github.