One important aspect people ignore is that not everyone care if the lagnuage is perfect or full of irregularities, as long as one can learn to live with them. This same can apply for spoken languages. So, IMO one of the most important things is the way one learned/is learning a language. If one learns from someone who knows it well, and teaches how to use it right (Not right according to ones expectations of how it shoud behave, but how it wil work, and get the job done.), with its shortcommings, it can work well and stable.
Beside learning experience, what esle counts is the community, frameworks, tools etc. Everything what can help one to to the job done in more simple/easier way.
I my self would definitelly not use it for everything, but for some things I already did, without much experimenting.
Using OO is/was quite possible. I was using it with Zend framework, following MVC, and IMO it is not bad at all. Just to make you easy, I even used Smarty for templates, and not PHP : ).