|First of all I don't think you need to worry... love it or hate it, due to PHP's popularity Google will eventually support it. Google is nothing if not practical. I think a petition to get PHP supported is mostly pointless, although the expression of interest might move PHP higher up the priority queue. Let's put it this way: I think PHP will be supported before Perl is.|
My introduction to web programming was through PHP... PHP is very forgiving, easy, and powerful and so is great for beginners who just want to get started and make working things and gives lots of room to grow. Also, the huge amount of ready made applications and GREAT documentation can't be beat! However, my feeling about it is that it was "intelligently designed" in the same sense that living organisms were "intelligently designed" - i.e., it wasn't, it basically evolved into its present form and previous design decisions have placed limits, for example, all built in functions living in the same namespace and the lack of consistency in naming conventions can be very frustrating.
I was later introduced to Python to for some non-web projects and quickly came to prefer it for web programming as well where practical. In my opinion, Python is just a better, cleaner language and it's not hard to see why Google prefers it for scripting tasks. I think there are objective reasons why this is so. But, PHP has some great advantages and an unparalleled devoted community including some top-notch developers and some official support *cough*Yahoo*cough*. I don't see it going away any time soon, and I really doubt that Google is going to freeze it out.