I think astroboy has touched upon the problem here.
Model means business logic encapsulated in a nice way. Typically this reduces to a series of products/clients/orders which can be modelled on a database. Hence the confusion between ORMs and models.
I was having a different problem. There the business logic is about keeping the maintenance of the site down. The only recognizable object I can discern in the websites I'm currently looking at is the "page". I can reuse many templates across multiple templates but I was ending up with far too much code managing template parameters especially when a parameter can be used across several pages. Now what would an ORM give me? It would give me a different interface to the database (in fact another interface to learn) but it would not in itself have solved my problem.
Edit: I am working on some modules that I am already confident solve my problems. I still need to do some work on them but the current code is in github under the repositories: cgi-application-pagelookup/cgi-application-plugin-pagelookup/cgi-application-plugin-pagelookup-sitestructure/cgi-application-pagelookup-lang.