Nice review, as it covers all aspects of the tool, just some points:
-Remote debugging has not been implemented, we will add that on future releases
-ADOdb and Smarty are options, is not a must to develop applications with them, more Datasets can be created, for example, the IBX controls are Datasets but they don't use ADOdb, and Smarty is used in the form of a plugin, it's really easy to integrate any template engine of your choice.
And finally, note VCL for PHP is opensource under LGPL license, you can find the project page here:
Also, subscribe to the development mailing list to ask any question you have.
I know about your packages, I'm a long time subscriber to this site and your packages should be easy to integrate. We are working now integrating PEAR packages and we have integrated DataGrid easily, so you should be able to do it.
Regarding Delphi for PHP plans, I'm not allowed to reveal any plans, CodeGear should release some kind of roadmap about the tool.