Martin Fowler's recent post about object-relational mapping matches my own analysis of the usefulness of ORM tools. They are no silver bullet, but they should not be dismissed without valid reason. If you want me to give up using ORM tools, you have to give me a better solution.
Depends on your scenario but have a look at document oriented dbs. F.e. RavenDB www.ravendb.net
Document oriented databases, as other NoSQL databases, have limitations of their own. They also require some mapping anyway.