Everybody hates PHP, I get it. I don't. I understand all complaints to PHP, but I have learned to deal with them (I keep a php.net tab open so I can get the paramters in order). I currently maintian a PHP codebase that is just over 1 million lines of code. It is hosted on a cluster of servers that number about 30 (databases, sessions, application, static content, etc). The beautiy of PHP is the tight integration with Apache. When you do Apache right with PHP, you can make a website scale to no end (reverse proxy, load balancing, hot-standby, etc).
A budy of mine used to have this awesome quote: "It's not the language, it's the people". You can write shitty code in any language. You can write elegent code in any language. Shitty devs will write shitty code. It matters not what the language is.
Don't get me started on Node.js. It seems neat on the surface, but I'll be damned if I let my front end devs ever touch server side code. It is a completely different world with massivly differnet mind sets. It is dangerous to think you can unleash people well on both front and back sides of the coin.