Martijn Faassen defends web frameworks in a rather longish post (you can tell it's 5 AM in the morning and I've nearly defeated the unread post queue in Google Reader). I'd like to propose a condensed version. Consider this slogan:

Simple things should be easy; complicated things should be possible.

Frameworks make simple things easy. Good frameworks keep the complicated thing possible; poorly-designed frameworks make the complicated thing more difficult than necessary; bad frameworks make even simple things complicated.

Doing everything from scratch merely makes things possible, but rarely easy.