Indeed, using Drupal can turn into module hell. However, we are not only using Drupal for the sole benefit of being able to quick-start a website.
Take a look at this site: Butterflive: live chat and real-time tracking
The front-office part is done with Drupal and the backoffice in Drupal + Mouf. Why did we do it this way?
Well the front-office is very efficient because we have a bunch of static pages to edit. I am a developer, but my colleagues are not. They are pretty happy to use Drupal to edit the static pages of the site. When it comes the back-office part (when you subscribe on the website), everything is coded using Mouf, in a nice object-oriented MCV way. I could have used a framework like Symfony for the back-office, however, I would have had to make a template for Drupal AND Symfony, I would have had to configure Google Analytics for Drupal AND Symfony, and so on...
So in my opinion, Drupal is a valid choice as a platform if you need to develop an application that comes with a lot of static content. Of course, if your application has no "front-office" part, you are better using a "pure" framework.
Now, in my opinion, the real problem with Drupal is that it does not rely on the MVC pattern, and most developers are used to that. Also, it is not object-oriented!
At my place, we have developed an MVC framework that we can plug to Drupal. This way, we get the benefit of Drupal and all its modules, and when it comes to pure PHP development, we have a nice MVC framework instead of those bloody Drupal hooks. If you want to have a look:
It is released as open-source, it is functional, but documentation is not complete yet so I would not recommend using it until we finish the documentation (probably in January).
My guess is a nice codec matching the quality of Skype, right in the browser, might help a wide adoption of live camera streaming.