Ian, if you're interested in using something more pythonic, you might want to try twisted (www.twistedmatrix.com). I started using Zope in 1.x days and have since left it for the same reasons you've highlighted here. I've found twisted difficult to get started but once you get your head around some of the basic concepts, it's actually pretty fun to work with.
You could use the 'high level' web application development package Nevow (http://nevow.com/) which is the next generation woven. Nevow is usable but still not 1.0, so perhaps you might want to use twisted.web.server and twisted.web.resource directly. It even supports ssl/tls. You could plugin processors for other types of 'documents' (twisted supports php and quixote templates, for example).
One negative point is that being new, twisted docs are...well, have plenty of room to improve.