I worked with CakePHP since Version 1.0 and we have gone a long way up to CakePHP 3. I would say that I have now 5 years (maybe even more) experience with CakePHP. Most of it in CakePHP 3.
Of course I noticed the trend with Laravel and Symfony. So I thought: "Ok the next small project I will do with Symfony".
I learned symfony and it's components and what I can say is: It's a very verbose framework. It was no issue but having more code for doing things you could solve with a convention over configuration looked not that nice to me. You need a pagination(helper)? Search a plugin for that, not core. And I dont like Twig. In my opinion PHP itself is already a template language. And doctrine seemed to me like the most powerful annoying orm.
Some months later the next little project came up:
This time I wanted to use Laravel. It was actually more convention over configuration but what did the Laravel devs smoke at some code parts? Eloquent-App-Model is basically a god object, Facades are an excuse to write static classes everywhere, Global helper functions, magic here magic there, magic bootstrap function, active record instead of data mapper. Laravel looked to me like wordpress. It is famouse and convenient but the underlying code and concepts were not that awesome.
Today if I need to start a project from scratch again I would use CakePHP not that CakePHP has no flaws (overusing traits, no dependency container, Helper-Classes which should be utility classes and so on...) but nevertheless it feels very rounded to me. Ecspecially the ORM, Phinx, Controller (Component)- and Model(Behaviour)-Part. Am I a fool for thinking CakePHP is still the best framework?
PS: Maybe my brain thinks to cakeish to see the benefits of the other frameworks.