After having done substantial work with PHP, including using many MVC frameworks such as ExpressionEngine, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, FuelPHP, and Zend I have to say that Laravel is surprisingly refreshing.
The creators have put a real emphasis on eloquent code, and code that is high-level / highly readable (as english). I like the static methods and helpers that the framework provides. The MySQL integration is nice, too, with both an easy query building helper, as well as an eloquent ORM. (The only thing I really don’t agree with is renaming “limit” to “take” – it’s not intuitive as it is not related to the underlying technology – leave it as
artisan command line tool is also nice to help manage migrations.
Laravel also has some pretty good built-in functionality, offering some authentication, validation, and csrf checking. The routes and controllers are also easy to set up for use with a RESTFUL model.
Finally, I like that it is focused on the strengths of PHP. With some other frameworks (fuelPHP) I felt that they were powerful but were trying a little to hard to be Ruby / Ruby on Rails.
All-in-all I am enjoying using it and I hope that it continues to be developed and gains traction in the PHP community.