I can't stress this enough, but the PHP manual is an excellent source of information and probably one of the best written out there. It has all sorts of great snippets of code to learn the various steps. If you've programmed in C, it's like a God send in converting the concepts from C to PHP. I think I use the manual more for reference than the books I have.
That and boards like this really help in making a quick learning curve...
I agree 100%. I've had the same experience. I've coded in C++, java, and VB (Visual Basic) a small amount. None of them had anything that helped as much as PHP's manual. Not many compare to PHP's manual.
MySQL also has a great manual once you figure out how to use it! :)