I'm a professional PHP programmer by day and occasional hacker by night. I like Propel 1.6, Symfony 1.3, PHPUnit and Zend Framework, and have side interests in web crawling and P2P technology, as well as several other ideas. I am planning on winning the lottery so I can do the night stuff during the day.
I'm presently recommending Codecademy's PHP course for PHP beginners. It's online, interactive and requires no tools or installation. I have no affiliation with this company.
I've written about how to ask questions on StackOverflow - hope someone finds it useful. I am an active voter here, and will often downvote questions that are unresearched, feature unabashed direct requests for code, or if some substantial assistance has not been replied to. I recommend all users read the help section.