In a recent blog entry Stefan Priebsch shows how to take an error thrown by your script and turn it into an exception (to make things like catchable fatal errors).
While I would personally prefer an exception to be thrown in the first place, it is pretty easy to convert errors to exceptions in PHP.
His example is pretty simple - you set a custom error handler in your script that pulls in the error information and tosses an exception based on the error number the handler is given. Then you can use the try/catch method to see if your script has tossed an exception of the fatal error type. Nice simple solution to handle an interesting little problem.