Yoda might say I've got much to unlearn... but I think it's worth getting ST2 to follow VIm on this one.
When I search in VIm, I can repeat the search for the same text by hitting "/" followed by enter or "?" followed by enter. In Vintage mode, a search for nothing is executed instead. And, like the trained ape I am, I keep hitting /<enter> over and over, waiting for the search to kick in.
So my expectation for an empty search in Vintage mode would be the same as hitting F3 or shift-F3 in Sublime Text without Vintage mode enabled.
Please heavens, this is driving me crazy. ;^) Surprised it wasn't elsewhere on the forum. Otherwise, wow, great editor.