I'd like to address all the points in your opening post about a better CMS, but I have a baby sleeping in my lap and it's a little bit difficult to type.
So I just want to find out your thoughts on ModX
I believe I could implement your ideas in a couple of hours with ModX. The power of ModX comes from it's use of Template Variables (TV's), which give you the 'fill out a form' capability for your content. Chunks are repeatable pieces of html code (eg. an application name, a version number, an image). Snippets are repeatable pieces of php code, and they accept parameters.
One example on one of a community website I manage
, is that each community group has it's own calender. I have placed a TV in the template which lets the group specify their calender username. There is also a checkbox that allows them to toggle the calender.
So by checking the box and putting in your username, you now have a calender relevant to your group.
Another example on a website I'm currently developing is a product listing much like you specified. I have a form that lets you edit each product, it has a name, description, price etc. I then have a snippet in my product listing template that retrieves these details, the snippet calls on a chunk of html for it's template.
So if even want to change the look and feel of the product listing, all I need to do is edit 1 piece of html.
So there should be two ways of linking. One, by the database ID of an article.
ModX does this.
I stumbled across ModX about a year ago when we were researching a CMS to use for GraniteNet
, and the more I use ModX the more I like it. I now have 3 projects in the pipeline all based on ModX.
Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts.