I think you should focus more on the concept of OOP itself rather than languages that have OOP features. Way back in the day (I am actually a pretty young person myself but I feel old saying that, lol), I learned OOP while programming Perl (which by the way sucks compared to learning OOP while programming PHP). Eventually I moved over to PHP and easily caught on to its OOP features because I already knew the basic concepts. Anyway, no I do not think PHP is dying by any means. It has become a very popular web development language, regardless if people are using OOP or not in their PHP code.
OOP is never going to be the only way to go for software development in general. There are many other paradigms of software development such as procedural and component-based design, which will always compete with OOP one way or another. In my humble opinion, I think it would be very beneficial for you to learn OOP. So if PHP all of the sudden dies one day and some other language becomes popular, then the new language will most likely have OOP features as well. And since you already know the basics at that point, it will be very easy to pick up a new OOP programming language.
Ok, hopefully this will help clear some things up Jim.
OOP (Object Oriented Programming) is a technique, not a rule. you can still code in procedural form, OOP is up to the developer. ASP was replaced by ASP.NET due to the release of the Microsoft .NET Framework being released, this was simply evolution of the language. PHP became a lot more suitable for OOP techniques with the release of PHP5, but from what I gather it still has a way to go.
The main point of OOP is to change the structure of code, grouping like code in to Objects. To those of us who develop using OOP, going back to procedural programming seems crazy, as it is a lot more structured way of working.
Also you mention that ColdFusion was replaced with ASP, this is completely incorrect. They are completely separate languages, just the same as C++ and C are different. ColdFusion uses a completely different technology to Microsoft's .NET, the same as PHP and ASP.NET differ drastically.
PHP is only changing in that it is becoming more usable by OOP programmers, I do not believe it is becoming "less" useful for others though.
Take the following example. I may need some code to run a basic select query, like you posted earlier.
Instead of this, I may create a DBQuery Class that contains functions to run the query. You would create the function to execute the query within an function and make the call like DBQuery->Execute($sql).
$sql = "insert into testtable (personname) values ('$vperson')";
$result = mysql_query($sql);
As for what you can use to create your front end, it is a matter of preference, as long as you have the skill to write all of your complex queries, you can do what you like with the result set.
And with the filtering, you could use Ajax to continually filter the data table and refresh that part of the page as the user types more letters in, just like Google Suggest.