There is no SEO penalty for having frames... framed pages are just pages! Only the frame page itself is different... you usually only have one if using frames or a few with iframes.
At one time (early 90's) some search engines could not follow framed pages. Browsers have supported frames since IE3 and Netscrape 2. Search engines have followed frames for well over 10 years now! People read stuff on the web written sometime ago and rewrite it and another will read that and rewrite it again... on and on... net fiction! If used in an iframe or a frame it is still a page and crawlers find them and index them.
Frames have some SEO benefits also as there are usually more pages. I have also had good results with frame forwarding... the only way to safely forward a site without a 301 and still use it for keyword searches.