If you're looking upon this opportunity as a learning experience then I would recommend going with Perl and your database of choice (which would appear to be MySQL in this case).
I recommend Perl over PHP for several reasons
- you have all the resources and community support of The Monastery
- the available introduction literature is superb (assuming you get the right stuff :)
- and lastly - learning PHP is no great joy. while it is very easy to pick up the basics and is somewhat simpler than perl in ways, learning PHP's subtle ins and outs is very tedious
I'd also recommend Preaching Perl gospel to PHP converts... for some good PHP vs. perl comparisons.