I would also disagree with the statement that "PHP is not a decent language in general."
I believe that a great deal of the disdain and discontentment with PHP as a language among those who use other languages is that a large number of those who write PHP are by nature less familiar with general programming "best practices." In my experience this has been a result of two factors:
- PHP has a rather simple syntax and some great documentation
- A large number of PHP developers are "self-taught" (generally because of factor 1)
That being said, I have worked with a number of those preferring PHP who have extensive knowledge regarding programming concepts in general. Some of these are autodidactic, but most have a formal education and are familiar with more languages than PHP. Formal education tends to engender an ability to abstract language-specific items as well as the capacity to critically evaluate programmatic methods/ways to solve a problem.
I concur that you will likely find PHP syntax very easy to learn, and would add that there are a great number of features that Perl and PHP have in common.
Though I prefer Perl I have written a number of projects in PHP, and I would submit to you that learning or coding in PHP need not be detrimental to your knowledge and/or love of Perl. Sometimes paying the bills requires something other than Perl. I believe there are a number of monks frequenting here that often code in other languages. It may be of benefit to you during your time working in PHP (or any other language for that matter) to continue to visit perlmonks and learn from as well as contribute to this community.