There's some double negatives floating around here, so piecing the intent with the literal reading I see isn't clear. Anyways, given that vi is more mnemonic than layout-based, switching layouts isn't too bad (provided that you don't have bad habits like I do with hitting one of "hjkl" repeatedly instead of using the f, t, and other similar commands). I've tried Colemak before and hjkl end up in a nice layout:
> j l
Vim does break some of the mnemonic patterns, but that's just because there are only so many keys to work with.