In my opinion it seems like a significant amount of PHP development involves using others god awful tools. It is more about being able to install, configure and customize existing solutions than ground up development. Honestly, that is one of reasons I'm beginning to learn ruby and rails. I'm becoming sick and tired of the PHP market being saturated by things such as Wordpress, Drupal, Magento, etc. I've always enjoyed building things myself and those types of tools while they have their place I'm getting quite sick of dealing with them. Not to mention every PHP MVC framework out there is a pile of crap when compared to the grand daddy of them all – rails. Besides it is always good to expand your horizon.
I've been using PHP now for about 5 years and to be quit frank am getting a little sick of it. From the *types of projects to inherit lack of quality associated with many things I see developed in it. Mostly though I don't really think there is a future for PHP outside of the types of projects which were previously listed. I enjoy building things and programming – not configuring stupid content management systems and dealing with poorly built products. Someone else might have a different perspective but it seems like the asp, rails and python market provides much more opportunity to create custom software. That is what the technologies are geared toward. So if you are merely looking to push out simple, budget sites than PHP has more opportunity for that with all the open source cms's available. There just doesn't seem to be much custom development going on with PHP considering all the open source things available.
The most painful part of ruby and rials though so far is really setting it all up. I'm on mac os x 10.6 and it has been a painful process to install the most recent version of ruby and rails. Nothing I couldn't figure out but I ran into several issues which required looking up over the internet to problem solve. However, once the environment was set-up everything seemed to flow smoothly. If you familiar with C, Java, PHP, Python, etc learning the basics of ruby doesn't seem to be that difficult. If familiar with any PHP based MVC framework than using rails is very similar – only more elegant and intuitive. At least that is my impression after having used CakePHP, CodeIgnitor and Symfony 2.