I have just started to attempt to learn Drupal, and on the surface, it looks really great, but a lot of things are difficult to get working correctly. The appeal for me was not having to build user management and CMS features that already exist elsewhere and probably have more features than I can afford to build. The unfortunate thing is that to get those features, I have to give up a properly designed database. While writing custom forms to work with my data took some time, it's taken me longer to try and get views to accomplish the same thing I can do with a few fairly straightforward SQL queries. Drupal has great potential, a huge community and a lot of extensibility that are easy to tap into for novices–which are great features to have, once I have the few custom features I need in place, but getting my customizations in place is worse than when my appendix burst.
My ideal CMS handles user management/roles/acces control and has the ability to create/edit static pages, and gives me an easy way to integrate my own application. Is there anything out there like that? I tried CodeIgniter, it was fairly easy to use, but doesn't seem to have pre-roled CMS I can use on top of my app–I'd have to build it all from scratch. I need something half way between Drupal and raw PHP, haven't found it yet.