Yes Php as a programming language is really cool.
While it may not be as powerful as its substitues like JSP and ASP.net, there is actually a very large community of developers working on the PHP language. Lots of free open source applications have been developed for industrial use that a person with some background in programming could easily configure to his own needs.
A great example is WordPress a blogging software. I have been using it for quite a few years on friendster for personal blogging. Recently I setup my own new blogging site at a new location blog.name1price.com but still using the same open source software WordPress. Now with FTP access to my wordpress script, I could easily extend my WordPress blog to include more impressive features.
If you are a technie, without hosting space or domain name but would really like a playground to test out these open source system., I could easily provide you with one free of charge.
Another cool system which I have been using for quite a while is Joomla. It has already reached version 1.5. I consider it to be quite a mature content management technology by now. You could also have it downloaded free off the net. All you need is just a hosting space to test it out. Samething if you need a play ground to test out this site tell me about it.
Recently I was out with my friend who is a trader. Apparently he was having problems keep tracking of his stocks. So I thought I should help him out by creating a online inventory system. However rather than creating one from scratch I just searched on google and found once again a free fully running inventory management system that is written in PHP.
That is the cool thing about PHP there is such a large community working on it that you can easily find an already written software system in that language to fit your needs with just slight modifications.