This is an architecture question regarding web frameworks and persistence frameworks.
Say your website was getting huge footfall (like a linkedin or an amazon) does it still make sense to consider something like JSF, Struts MVC?
Or would you get better performance without?
In the same way you could get better performance writing your own O/R rather than using Hibernate or JPA because you can fine tune it?
Does anyone know what the big players (linkedin, amazon) or doing in presentation tiers?
IF I was using Java, I would still use an MVC framework. They don't add noticeable performance overhead.
For the database, an O/R framework is probably fine. It could do some caching unless you need the very latest data shown. For tuning, raw JDBC is going to let you tune better than any O/R framework because it lets you specify the SQL.
The GUI framework's performance is usually not an issue. The usual suspect for performance problems is the DBMS, specifically the Sql DBMS. Lots of sites do most of their high transaction work with a no-SQL solution, and only use SQL when they have to.