You know, not that I've been at it for long, but I've had an long-running observation about PHP:
As a language and an API, PHP kinda stinks. It's got more crud than I left behind in Perl, but without all the meta-magic that made it worth it. And, I get a little nervous tic when I think about it in relation to Python and Ruby.
On the other hand, it's ubiquitous and cheap—and because it's in the hands of people with all levels of skill, most popular PHP apps have by necessity managed a high standard of easy install and simplicity. The languages with more meta-magic tend to attract eggheads (myself included) who can forget about keeping things simple.
And, did I mention PHP is ubiquitous?