Sweet, the discussion did ensue and progress
My personal thoughts are that he was referring to the order of the parameters (which is particularly noticeable with the functions that contain needle and haystack) are consistently in different orders (which I agree is true for other functions too, maybe not as noticeable though). This will be hard to fix, unless they implement it on a new namespace (as Michael Morris pointed out). However, that would need to be done in a wise fashion that is extendable towards the future, .NET did this several times and I think they managed it well, but it is definitely not to be taken lightly.
Again, I think that would be the point. If PHP considers a situation as a breaking error (think illegal cast, trying to act with an object that is null or unset), then those situations should produce exceptions now that we have them, but I digress, that change could be breaking for some production systems that depend on errors being presented as is (since it seems two different handlers would have to exist, set_error_handler and set_exception_handler -- granted not hard to fix in your code, but it does lead to a "functionality breaking change")
I think PHP has its plus and minuses, for me the plus is being able to quickly spin out code without having to compile it or set it up through configurations or "special project types". I like being able to quickly spurn out a CLI test or process for a proof of concept before spending time developing a full blown system. Could I do that in other languages as well, probably, however, I when I tried a few other languages things got in the way. Ruby kept trying to out-smart me by doing what it thought I wanted to achieve but I really didn't want to take it "that far". Perl was fine (no real complaints, but most systems I was working on didn't have it). Bash has worked well for times I just need to do something quick and dirty that will manipulate the file system or quickly allow me to repeat a task I do frequently (but try and go in-depth and you have a mess of code, that could easily be broken up better in PHP).
Although PHP's intention was never to become a big player in the world of programming languages, it did and I think it is finding itself in a odd position where it can either adapt to its status in the programming world and fix the underlying issues it has had since its inception, or it can sit idle implementing a feature here and there to keep it a relevant language. Time will tell if one path should have been taken or if it will still be "not that big of a deal" amongst developers and the industry.