Re: comparisons to CPAN PECL and PEAR are prttey large, and a lot of the items have been so useful (APC, et. al.) that they've gotten rolled into PHP's core, which tends to bring the numbers back down a bit. The suggestion to use Java? That's proof of delusion right there. There is nothing that your average sysadmin hates more than being handed something written in java to run. Java, and java-based apps, are the number one pain in a linux sysadmin's posterior, no matter how well the understand the language and stack.