You make good points. I think part of my response was due to having worked with Drupal exclusively for 2 years now. If I'm going to spend time learning something I might as well be improving my skills with what I work with day in and day out. Ask me two years back about Drupal and I would probably have more of a distaste for it than you do. I don't know if it is me getting soft but it really has much to offer in regards to the community that supports it. That is if you can get over the many flaws and understand the consequences negative and positive of different contributed modules. One thing I have always hated about it like you is that it is not MVC. Again though I don't really think it needs to be. The power of Drupal lyes in the hook system. Which is essentially nothing more than an event.
I'm following 8 closely and it looks like they are actually planning on implementing an actual event driven paradigm using Symfony components. A little early to tell though. I know the one thing that has been nearly completed is the Symfony routing component integration. I think there is even plans to use doctrine. One thing I have to say about Drupal is although it has it's problems the core team is not afraid to improve the system even if it means fundamental architecture changes that have a far reaching impact on contributed modules that might rely on a different implementation. That works well for improving the system but not so well for people using those modules. Good thing and bad thing in many ways.
I work for a large media company, not freelance. Software is always evolving and it is very difficult to say no to anything unless it is just out right stupid. Though even some outright stupid ideas get implemented. Drupal is flexible enough to meet the requirements of evolving software in a somewhat efficient manor.
That said if it was up to me I probably would have never used Drupal in the first place. Our system is not very stable at this point because of all the cruft people have added over time. The best Drupal site is really one that can be monitored and restricted in terms of installing modules. Though once you have over 200 modules things become very difficult to maintain. That isn't a fault of Drupal though. It is more so the evolution of the system that people did not expect 3+ years.
The worst thing to deal with is none-developers installing modules. if I ever took on a freelance project I would lock down all that stuff. I would probably even lock down panels, views, fields and images. People who don't understand consequences of changing structure of the site can do some terrible damage if they allowed to manage structural components through the UI.
I will admit though it has been very difficult to let go of control. With a framework like Silex or even Symfony there are so many less dependencies. However, with Drupal it is a sea of powerful code core and contributed, written by many different people and it would take aeons to understand it all in and out.
Man… I kinda sound like Drupal fan boy and I'm really not. It has it's advantages just as it has disadvantages.