Just found this great NoSQL db comparison with an, I think, dead-on conclusion:
So, does RDBMS scale? I would say the answer is: not any worse than lots of other things. Most of what doesn’t scale in a RDBMS is stuff people don’t use that often anyway. And does NoSQL scale: a couple solutions do, most don’t. You might even argue that it’s just as easy to scale mysql (with sharding via mysql proxy) as it is to shard some of these NoSQL dbs. And I think it’s a pretty far leap to declare the RDBMS dead.
The real thing to point out is that if you are being held back from making something super awesome because you can’t choose a database, you are doing it wrong. If you know mysql, just used it. Optimize when you actually need to. Use it like a k/v store, use it like a rdbms, but for god sake, build your killer app! None of this will matter to most apps. Facebook still uses MySQL, a lot. Wikipedia uses MySQL, a lot. FriendFeed uses MySQL, a lot. NoSQL is a great tool, but it’s certainly not going to be your competitive edge, it’s not going to make your app hot, and most of all, your users won’t give a shit about any of this.