Are you tired of mysqldump, but not willing to pay for the enterprise tools for Mysql? That was my situation a few years ago, and i started to look around for alternatives.
No problem, you can do hot backup of your MySQL database with open source tools, even without locking any tables during the backup.
Take a look at http://www.percona.com/doc/percona-xtrabackup/2.1/
It allows you to hot backup your mysql database, and its very, very fast. Its free, and now after using it for years, we can conclude that it works perfectly and every time we are still amazed how fast it backs up even very large databases.
Give it a try, it saves you money and is way beyond the capabilities of mysqldump which is slow, locks tables, and is almost useless for large databases.