I eagerly downloaded and installed the Zend Framework and just as eagerly started to make some simple apps with it, until I started wondering about using it on a live website.
What struck me is the lack of hosts that for one don't support PHP 5. The next thing that struck me was the recommended "application" layout, with the Framework not in the same directory that the application was being served from. The extra extensions it requires doesn't help either, like pdo. I just can't see the majority of hosting companies out there bothering.
I came to the conclusion that I probably wasn't going to be using the Framework for a long while yet, just because I'd need to spend £££ for hosting that would allow me to configure the web server the way I wanted it.
Is it all too early? Have you been looking into the Zend Framework? Unfortunately I think it's heading to be a great piece of software, it's just a pity it seems I won't be able to use it.
I think the ZF will probably encourage takeup of PHP 5, of which 5.1 is now the latest. My feelings were that PHP 5 was nice, but did not really justify an upgrade of a server with many customers on it. However PHP 5.1 changes that with PDO bundled as standard. Many hosts do now actually offer PHP 5 - whether that is PHP 5.1 or not I don't know. We offer PHP 5.1 on our hosting after we upgraded a few weeks ago.
As far as the structure of the ZF goes, I do agree that it is not really suited for a shared setup. I modified it when I was working with it to make it all working from a single directory which can be installed anywhere on a server - in the root or under a sub directory - as many people will want to be able to do. This kind of layout is similar to Ruby on Rails and is not something I'm a fan of. But I was able to change it.