I'm about to rant a bit, but I'll try to keep it calm.
WordPress(.com)-hosted blogs seem very easy for the novice user, and it's not that hard to do a self-hosted WP site if you stick with a pre-built (and pre-tested) theme, and just live in WYSIWYG world. But since I need to customize things for my clients in ways that just can't be done within digging into the code, I find myself constantly bumping into roadblocks. Not only are things like pages, posts, and categories sometimes confusing in their behavior, but it's often hard to find the PHP file where something critical is happening.
It seems to me that WP was a fine blogging platform, but now has so much stuff duct-taped on in an attempt to support more than just plain blogging sites. Unfortunately, it feels like a house that had 20 different contractors put on additions, without much regard to what others have done or with the overall plan.
I'm also constantly astonished out how brain-dead the admin screens are sometimes. It's as if the people who built their look and functionality never used them for a site with more than 10 pages. I'm happy that others have written great plugins that streamline my site building and admin tasks, but there shouldn't *have* to be plugins to do this - it should be native. So for my second analogy, it's like WordPress is a car you buy, but with a stick for steering, a few bricks on rope you throw out the window to slow down, and some lawn chairs for seats. If you want anything fancier, you have to get the "steering wheel", "brakes", and "seats" plugins.
It's great that there is such a robust "ecosystem" around WP, with thousands of developers working hard and contributing plugins, themes, etc. And I get it that WP is free. But I just want to give my clients the ability to edit their own content (without breaking my design) and be able to throw in some cool functionality. Why does WordPress make that so hard?
Am I just being cranky in thinking that WP feels more like "alpha" code ("beta" at best) but isn't really "ready to ship" yet?
Really interesting in hearing others' opinions...