Ah, it seems I started a religious language war simply by sticking up for the tool I (have to) use ;-). I've not claimed PHP is the best language, only it is a comfortable language to me and many others. I just do not feel the pain some developer's always claim to feel, the inconsistencies just don't cause ongoing real world problems for me. I do not lose productivity on a day-to-day basis, they do not cause additional bugs (well, dynamic typing could - and a small number of other things could if you don't have a framework / know the issues), they do not make the code unreadable, and I do not have a problem hiring or training competent developers in the language. Whatever problems there are are easily resolved, and the smallest problem I have as a professional. A PHP developer not aware of the few issues to avoid, would also not have the basic field knowledge to avoid a myriad of other pitfalls that affect all programming languages. I know so many people will read this and think "but there are issues, and you can't excuse that" - I'm not - but I also firmly believe going through your professional career with so much anality for the small niggles doesn't help anybody, and that instead of whinging, people should put their energy into something more productive and positive, like concentrating on client ROI (and no, the 5 minutes you took looking up an inconsistently named function the other day doesn't make an identifiable difference to it), or perhaps, putting in RFCs for cleaning up the issues for PHP6.
The reason I develop in PHP is because I write consumer software to deploy on web hosts, and I don't chose the web hosts, and PHP is the overwhelming 'standard'. Probably the world would be better if Python replaced PHP, but bitching about the tools people use with arguments that the users of said tools simply cannot relate to, just seems ridiculous, and annoying because it just undermines the good work some seriously talented/hardworking/worthy people are doing. There is absolutely no reason PHP cannot continue to evolve, step by step, without forcing the entire hosting industry to adapt to something else (which is never going to happen).
I just ported a project from ASP.net to PHP, and my God the problems I saw in that language. Whenever I look at Ruby code, I just see the most inelegant syntax - it just looks like it was deliberately designed to combine being cryptic in some places, with pulling in English words where self-describing layout would be better. And then there are a host of academic languages which have elegant concepts, but poor libraries, or just are too over-complex for real world use.