Another web developer recommended Joomla!, and I started using it recently. I'm still becoming familiar with Joomla!, and I am not familiar with any other content management systems; nevertheless, I must respectfully disagree with Joshywood's remarks about Joomla!
Joshywood seems to be a MODx supporter, and we tend to favor and support those programs that we use and with which we are most comfortable. Although it wasn't one of the top five nominees for the Packt Open Source Content Management System Award, MODx may be a great CMS, but there is probably room for more than one great CMS.
I'm not sure that I know anyone in "the elite coding circles" but, as one who has coded since the 1960s and been involved in web site development for 12 years, I am acquainted with a number of coders, and there are some among my acquaintances who I consider to be experts in their fields. I have asked some of my acquaintances about Joomla! and, although some did not care for content management systems, I can't recall many negative remarks about Joomla!
I'm also surprised that Joshywood "...can tell a Joomla...site from a million miles away..." One of the things that impressed me about Joomla! was the ease with which the look and feel of a Joomla! site can be changed through the use of templates. To see a variety of Joomla! sites, take a look at the featured sites on JoomlaForm.com
, or the sites submitted to JoomlaBeauty