Wittner - 9:24 am on Dec 19, 2012 (gmt 0)
Have to second CodeIgniter. It changed my life as far as coding is concerned. Makes your code REALLY easy to manage and you can be as strict or loose as you decide - choosing to use the full templating side of things (kind of like Cake) or ignoring the template stuff and just using more OOP coding principles. Highly recommended.
I started to use this after downloading and trying out any of the other frameworks out there including Cake etc. They were mostly good, but (for me anyhow) CodeIgniter out-trumped the lot. Whether your a brilliant coder, beginning or somewhere in between you can get your teeth into CI and there is a strong community backing it up.
hope that helps,