Thanks David for the feedback
Not sure if you are on pre-release forums, now there is an option to include the services folder as part of Export Release Build. The DCD features has extensibility, we are working towards documenting the same (Gaurav has already built a Ruby On Rails plugin to use DCD features @ http://dcdror.riaforge.org/blog/index.cfm/2009/10/9/Using-Ruby-On-Rails-plugin-for-DCD ).
Irrespective of extensibility, the opening up of templates is a good idea, I have filed a ECR for that http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FB-25147
As far as the Zend issues are concerned, I urge you refer some of the discussions regarding this in the pre-release forums, where there is information on what are the new things that are being introduced in Zend and how it is better and secure compared to amfphp.
I am on pre-release, I didn't see anything in the latest build relating to including the release folder, but i will have a better look, I think the discussions on where zend is heading is divided. I think that when people start trying to get zend working on commercial hosting thats when there will be some negative feedback plus I don't hold hope on improves to an already lack-lustre performance I am seeing on mid sized tables when using zend (30-40% slower than amfphp). As zend continues to add layers of abstraction performance will continue to take hits.
I think for those that like zend's love of abstraction thats fine but the same people don't seem to understand the performance ramifications. Even in its most basic form which many people will want for amf-php its performance is atrocious.
It was Gaurav's(good one Gaurav) work that got me thinking about 'open' templates(maybe i will have to add java to my list of things I need to know).
Thanks for the jira entry, i'll have to go check on it, if you haven't done so already i'll bring it to the attention of the pre-release mob.