A bit of history
My current development platform is Eclipse + PDT. Before that, I was using Zend Studio (the pre-Eclipse version). I got along with Zend pretty well, it was a decent IDE. When I realized that it won't last for too long (Zend moving toward Eclipse), I've started looking for alternatives and finally found PDT and started messing around with it.
My impression on Eclipse: way too clumsy. I can definitely get some serious work done with it, but I could get some serious work done with a shovel too. It doesn't mean I feel good while doing it. I had to tweak nearly everything to get things done. Even then it was slow and painful, like the moment you realize you're getting kicked in your groin and everything is slo-mo.
NetBeans + CakePHP = Happy?
So I got a suggestion to try out NetBeans. All I can say is that I was really surprised. It felt really good and lightweight. Everything worked on the first try. Even got a bit of code assist for SQL (don't know why is this such a rare feature?), but it doesn't work to well with many nested sub-queries. Overall, I was impressed.
As someone mentioned earlier in CakePHP mailing list, NetBeans team has a nice voting feature for issues, and one of those issues was CakePHP support:
Normally I don't do anything like this, but I've actually registered and voted on this. I feel that this is something actually worth the effort, and I'd like to encourage everyone to vote on it.
If NetBeans 7 comes out with CakePHP support, I'm going to shift+delete my Eclipse folder(s) within a blink of an eye. Or an ear, whatever works for you.