Once upon a time, I heard someone very knowledgable in a variety of languages refere to PHP as 'training wheels without the bicycle'. Next time I see this monk in the 'Other Users' box, I'll ask if I can credit him with the quote.
From what exposure to PHP I've had, it seems to be pretty much a 'made in taiwan' version of Perl. The first version of PHP was actually written in Perl and was intended to be a 'simplified' version of Perl.
Update: The quote is from merlyn. blakem pointed out that it's also here, in a thread about PHP vs Perl.
perl -l -e "eval pack('h*','072796e6470272f2c5f2c5166756279636b672');"