Longtime Cakephp user and will continue to but interested in a lighter alternative.
Putting my bet into Laravel. I think it is elegant, fast, and forward thinking.
Zend Framework has a huge user base as being created out of the most prominent PHP company. You mentioned it for the US, it is also huge in China.
More than that I'd say that it's almost the only framework Chinese PHP devs have ever heard about.
What about the Fat Free Framework? Really nice light framework with templating built in. Maybe lacking the scale of Zend, but superb for smaller projects.
@Khepin: Admittedly I am quite clueless about the Asian market. I feel like I still pick up a bit on what happens in Japan. Interesting to hear that ZF is dominating in China.
@Greg: Think I have heard of Fat Free Framework once or twice, but never seen any code. Is that a micro framework? I mentioned Silex in my original post. I am not sure yet how much of a splash these types of frameworks will make. However as the client is starting to do more and more of the GUI, I can see a growing trend to dumb backends where micro frameworks then make quite a bit of sense.
You didn't heart about ez/zeta components ?
Sure I know about ez/zeta components. I hacked up part of their Search component a while ago, but I do not think they will have much relevance as a full stack framework. Some of their libs however are interesting like the Document and Workflow components.
I'm using Yii framwork and I find it easy to learn and customize to fit my needs.