To have a precise follow up on how one looses life-time trying to get things working with Drupal is an impossible task. Besides the time you loose just trying to get things working, one would need double the time to also report it with all the search for solutions to the endless number of bugs, patches and other problems. It's like a giant rubik's cube where every time you fix one side/color, you find out you just messed up other two or three... "Fortunately" I don't seem to be the only one with this problem. Difference is where I believe most people just give up, I have no other option than to continue, since I'm already too deep into it.
Some of the main general frustrations I see in the postings:
image cache and/or directories (apparently related to permissions)
memory and update problems
This list is endless and gets even longer if you want to include all the non-answered questions or answered after more than 3 months, which is actually the same.
Drupal non answered list, based on random encounters
2011-08-15 - answered to a post: http://drupal.org/node/1231200#comment-4840314
Just copied it here to make sure it doesn't get lost (erased?)
I didn't read your whole text. No time for that since there are so much Drupal problems I still have to solve. However I imagine it can all be brought back to that piece of frase: "I get the feeling I am missing a lot".
This is definitely the feeling I have had ever since I started in 2007. And instead of lessening it gets worse all the time, like: "the more I know, the more I am aware of what I don't know". So I still feel like a newbie after 4 years. And frankly I do not feel much support from the guys who do know. In fact many time they treat you as scum, with at most very short answers (need more info, won't resolve, is other module, read the "manual" or send you to other reference of 20 pages with all insider-terms. Generally giving the feeling that you're bothering when you ask.
Basically I see many newbies wrestling to keep floating and trying to help each other with deductions. You recognize them easily giving recommendations saying "maybe" or "I think".... but I have NEVER seen anyone (of those who know) answering simply: "You solve it like this: 1, 2, 3!" And the number of unanswered questions (more than a month or longer) is endless.
Want some references? (to start with):
http://drupal.org/node/182946 (since 2007)
No answer to the question of how to have a blank option in required profile fields so that users HAVE to select their country, gender and birthdate . Without this solved 95% of the users of my, your site and I guess most Drupal sites will be males from Afghanistan who are born today!
Combine location and taxonomy.... Was one of the first things I thought to find in Drupal (maybe the reason to start trying it) but turns out it has never been and most probably never will be solved. Very asociated to this is the very solicited request for a dropdown hierarchy for Country > region > city.
Even manual workarounds with Hierarchical Select don't lead to solutions, but to more problems. Last action from the maintainer was one year ago "Closing due to lack of response." after which the issue was reopened and continued for another year....
http://drupal.org/node/149880 (since 2007)
A "body" field for Polls, never definitely solved it seems. Something so basic, apparently simple and for a core module, mind you! (see comment #22: "Are any of the patches suitable for D6, or should I give up on the notion of finding a solution for adding a poll description in a D6 implementation?")
If you go to the website references from posts older than 6 months from newbies looking for help it seems that most don't exist anymore or are back to HTML. My guess is that 80% of the newbies "don't make it". And another guess is that at Drupal they don't care, at least they don't seem to have any rescue or help policy toward newbies or non-php-gurus.
For me Drupal is something like treasure Island: nobody knows where it is, except those who have already been there.
Unfortunately I am stuck in this, trying to make a living with it and having lost all energy and mental space to look for something else and learn that, or even start over and stick to good old HTML and Dreamweaver (templates DO work).
My conclusion is that if you do not know or have just a vague knowledge of PHP and even CSS (and haven't got stuck with Drupal yet) you better stick to HTML. And from what I can imagine if you are good at PHP, then you'd better make your own custom application.
In the meantime I'll keep wrestling until I find my way out of this.