Development frameworks, in the loosest sense of the term, do a good job of preventing developers from having to reinvent the wheel each time they begin a new project. Each project naturally calls for a different starting point dependent upon what the end result should be. Drupal, I think, begins at a pretty high level of done-ness.
I should think that it is a given that frameworks currently in use by any sizable community offer this basic benefit to the degree which it is designed to. I think, then, that frameworks need to be judged on what I see to be an almost equally important factor: its ability to prevent developers from boxing themselves in, or over-engineering their application.