We have been using Codeception/PHP for the past year and have had problems in making progress fast enough (automated coverage is very low). We have realized that hand coding PHP is something we want to avoid and utilize some sort of screen recording to generate the tests. I agree that hand coding allows the most control however for this particular organization we need automate coverage ASAP.
I looked at some screen recorders based SAAS services but the pricing models are a bit extreme for us. I also looked at Silked Webdriver and I thought maybe we can use that to generate some of the hand-coding selector stuff. I also looked at testim.io and Katalon and while they look good, I was not sure if someone else has a better solution that they had a good experience with.
Again hand coding is great but maintaining a QA framework where we are hand coding everything is not feasible as we do not have enough QA to keep up with new development. By the way, our application is Lawyer Analytix and is PHP based.