I could talk at length about all the different CMSs and frameworks I have dealt with and why they do or don't suck. Instead though I will focus on 3 major ones that are probably the industry leaders.
- Drupal. I know you've heard of it, who hasn't? It is capable of maintaining some massive sites, and seems to do so without breaking a sweat. However it is incredibly complicated and seems to have a problem with modules being behind the core release cycle. Let's face it the core drupal install is pretty weak. You have to have third party modules to glean the true power of drupal and so far most of them are not ready for the current release (which has been out for several months).
- ExpressionEngine. This nice CMS is built off CodeIgniter which makes it incredibly easy to develop for. The 'Channel' implementation is very easy to understand and use, and I love how there are no stock templates. Yet unlike the others in this list it is not free. Also checkout it's database structure, what a mess. Basically the EE db architect guaranteed that EE could never be used for any kind of major website. In other words: No significant scalability without heavy caching and beefy database servers. Also it has been my experience that if you are using a part of EE that doesn't involve channels it becomes an immense pain in the ass.
- WordPress. Lovely admin features make this CMS unbelievably easy to manage and the simplicity lets anyone with a computer generate content. Lets be honest though this is still very much a blogging tool, yeah sure you can hack at it and get it to be some kind of non-blog site but that isn't what it was really designed to do. Also as with drupal finding nice working plugins can sometimes be a challenge.
That is my quick run down of 3 major CMSs on the market and some of their benefits and flaws. That being said what am I gonna do about it. Well my plan is to shove another CMS down your throat. One that hopefully will take the benefits of all of the ones listed above and fix all of their short comings.
With that I introduce Feed Forge. https://github.com/jimdoescode/feedforge
This is a CMS I am working on (built off CodeIgniter of course). My goal with this project is to utilize the nice Channel setup that EE has with templates, yet still keep the nice database structure of drupal, and have an incredibly easy to use admin feature like wordpress. I do want to mention that this is still very much in an Alpha stage with a ton of work left to do. As the project matures though I hope it will garner more attention for it's elegance and ease of use.
I just want to say this is more a sneak peak at the project if you are interested download the source and play around with it but I warn you this is not a finished product and is absolutely not ready for a live website.