PHP is great. It is easy to learn and easy to use. Of course, it is also easy to make a project that is so amazingly baroque that mere humans have no chance of ever editing it. This is a trait that PHP shares with one of its biggest rivals, Perl. It can be funny to listen to an argument between PHP and Perl folks about why their favorite is the best and the other guy is the worst. The other guy is always “unstructured and unsuitable for real projects”, while the favorite is “fast and expressive”.
These folks need to settle down, because they’re both right. Perl and PHP show an obvious influence from the world of shell scripting, where the goal is to get stuff done now. This means that you can put together a project with amazing speed, but it takes a lot of discipline to keep your code in a clean, maintainable state. You could say that about lots of languages, though. My advice is that you go with PHP if that’s your preference. Don’t let anybody bother you about your choice. It’s a regular part of my site-building toolkit, and I’m pretty much guilt-free about it.
Plus, I am really excited about PHP 5, which provides many new features and better support for object-oriented programming.