PHP/MySQL is much better than VB.
For several years now I've stubbornly stuck to using Visual Basic and no other programming language. Oh, sure, I've picked up a TON of bad habits while doing it, but I know the conventions most commonly used (Hungarian notation for naming objects, declaring variables) and was pretty good at following the rules. I remember when I first picked up VB3, back in Grade 5: there was no auto-complete box holding your hand, you had to memorize the properties and look them up in the Help file.
I think that's what has made me a better coder today. Although I'm not as accomplished as I might want to be (I still don't know C++, for example) I think VB, while being the resident whore of programming languages, is still a good starting point.
At the moment, I'm writing a Web content management system in PHP/MySQL to show up students who think having a Flash intro will make your site the top hit on Google. For those of you unfamiliar with the inner workings of tJY, Mhaddy has based the Staff backend on his own custom coding. It's powerful, but he says it's not ready for customers yet. From what I've seen, tJY may not be the pinnacle of web design, but the custom backend and way that it fits together is slick.
The problem I'm seeing for my code in the future is that I plan to make it open source. I've submitted only one item to an open source repository -- "Evergreen Shell" in VB to PlanetSourceCode. I take a look at my code and wonder if I'll be laughed off the Internet, because it looks so badly written to me, compared to something of ultimate class like phpBB2 or SiteKore, The Junkyard's backend interface.
I'm rambling, though. The project's JUST barely got an installer up and limping (no upgrade script as of yet -- all commands are "CREATE TABLE" this, "INSERT" that) and I find it a relief that my initial page can either display one item (by a specific ID number) or a custom amount. For me, at least, that's kind of cool.
grey wolf said a few evenings ago that PHP.net would be all I needed. While I had to rely on the MySQL site, and a WebMonkey tutorial to get started, he's been pretty much right, and I salute the fine folks behind PHP for not only creating a scripting language that has tons of power and that's free, but also documenting it really well. The community features, where users post code snippets, are a godsend as well.
Here's to learning a much better language!