When Flex was first introduced, there was, most prevalent, Cairngorm and Arp as support frameworks (Flex *is* a framework, don’t forget). Both emphasized the data connection element, which was the biggest problem with Flash Remoting, so it makes a lot of sense. Today, however, we are seeing a real need for the extension of some of that kind of methodology for the designer/graphics side of things.
The Degrapha framework (http://www.degrafa.com/) promises to help ease some of the pain, or close the divide between the designer and the developer. Called a “Declarative Graphics Framework” by its designers, Jason Hawryluk and Juan Sanchez, it provides support for re-use and extensibility on the graphics and visual side of the Flex development milieu.
I took a moment this week to catch up on the Gausax framework developments (http://ablesa.wordpress.com/), and Angel Blesa has done quite a bit of good work there. Check out the comparison of implementations of the Flex Store using no framework, Cairngorm, and then Gausax. This treatment helps to easily see the difference. The simplification of frameworks is what developers want, in order to remain Agile.
None of these is a case of replacing one thing with another. There are benefits and strengths shown by each. It is always a case of matching the solution with the problem, taking into account the complete context of the project at hand, customer requirements and the available resources.