I've been hacking on ember.js recently in search of the next great paradigm shift. And like anyone adopting a new technology, I first looked around to see what other developers thought about the various mvc frameworks in the wild.
What I found beyond the religion of each framework and it's followers was the commonly asked question 'should I use backbone or ember' (please don't tell trek I even hinted about this). The most pragmatic developers would reply to that question with the age old 'what are you doing with the framework/ what does your project need?'
And to be clear you should get some type of context before picking any new technology because they each have a list of pros / cons associated depending on your needs.
One difference between my hand rolled frontends and backbone is that you don't work with jQuery selectors directly. Instead you have a simple abstraction with the $el object (basically a reference to the views DOM element).
Not a terrible concept if you plan to work the same way we did a few years ago with the added +1 for data-binding. And if I had started with backbone I would have been grateful and thought the other frameworks were all about the same.
Again this is not intended to be a slam on any of the other mvc frameworks but I found that using ember + ember-data provided me with the same type of api / programming model that I already use on the server side today. And this model is one that I rather enjoy. I prefer to think about behavior and actually enjoy the encapsulation of a rich domain model. And any framework that allows me to work at this level of abstraction is worth a look.