I Know exactly the way you feel. I started 4~5 years ago in PHP (I came from Delphi, lol), and started in pure php. What I had back them was a “CMS Panel like” wich just read all tables fields and create the form. After sometime I reached somehow in the knowledge of PHP Frameworks, I tried CakePHP for first and didn’t liked, after, got into Yii wich in my opinion is pretty intuitive and easy-use (With it’s Gii generator it rocks pretty much). I Tried Symfony, ZF2, Laravel, Yii2-Beta and some frameworks for RAD, but still I wasn’t feeling fast enough like before the frameworks.
Happened that I developed my own framework (It was naturally, not exactly that I woke up some day and said “I’m going to create a new framework”, happened with the time) . I Know it’s a bad bad bad practice and “wheel reinvention” move, BUT, I now develop my projects much faster (more than PHP only).
Since it’s code is a total MESS, I started about one month ago to reformulating my framework, now it uses composer, follows common rules that exists between the php frameworks, is MVC.
Why I’m reformulating ? Because if someone needs to repair a project of mine it will not be a another world thing.
So I Understand you.
My Advice is, prepare your tools (call it a framework, a preset-app or whatever people names it), and use it the way you feel better, but still follow some common rules (Like MVC, “easy to module” things wich you can replace in case of broken.