I spent about 3 months trying to get other Joomla development tools to do the job I needed, to create a gig engine for a fan site. None of them came close, so then I decided to start from scratch and write a component. I found fabrik by accident and gave it a go. To cut a long story short, this is one of the best development tools for any environment I have ever used - it did the job I needed, my site looks great and the back end admin is amazing. It is incredibly powerful "out of the box", but with all of the extensions available, and the ease with which it can be customised, it beats all of the others by a mile. I use fabrik in conjunction with CB, Kunena and Community ACL and have a site that my users are delighted with.
Just one complaint - why is it hidden in Contacts & Feedback -> Forms? There must be loads of people looking for a component like this that never find it.