As a way of answering the common language comparison question (PHP vs Java/Perl), Stefan Mischook has posted these thoughts comparing the languages himself.
[For web development] PHP is the way to go. Perl is a good language but it was not designed initially for web development - that functionality was added later.
He talks about his experience using Perl in web-based environments and some of the issues he's seen around using it or Java for web applications...including a suggestion for Java's place in the world:
Java is great for the enterprise...that means, if you plan to be working for very large companies. But it takes a lot longer to create anything in Java vs PHP.