No “pitching” in the world will make up for the ColdFusion license cost. ColdFusion has a lot of powerful strengths, but a large & active community is not one of them. The Open Source & Microsoft communities have slowly squeezed the growth out of a large ColdFusion community by offering essentially free solutions. As Sean stated, PHP got popular because of its community… one reason the community is so large, is because because every hosting provider has really nice PHP hosting plan for < $10. A ColdFusion host can easily be $20+, and you don’t get nearly as many goodies. It is probably too late for ColdFusion to make up for its small community, and is there any reason is should? ColdFusion is a niche market, that has little chance to break free from its proprietary chains.
Why would I write some community driven application, when the vast majority of the larger web development community & individual developers can’t afford it? Why should I consider using ColdFusion for myself or a client when we can not “freely” use ColdFusion? Why would I want to waste my talent, developing some application for ColdFusion, when most of the time it already exists in PHP? Why reinvent the wheel, when I could spend my time furthering an existing PHP application. Even the mighty Adobe went with PHP and mediawiki for labs.adobe.com. Why because it is the best, and it is free!