There was an interesting discussion in the evolt list (the list as the call it) about perl vs PHP. As usually happens with such religious discussions everybody started saying their piece without listening to what others had to say. My own contribution was related to how the DBI module for perl database connectivity is superior to the mysql api in PHP.
My argument was that you can use parameter binding with DBI where as you cannot do so with PHP (at least in verion 4.xx). Then some wag commented that PEAR already has something similar. Obviously he doesn't believe in close is not good enough.
The whole idea behind parameter binding to SQL statements is that you can make use of precompiled statements when it's available. Precompiled statements are supposed to be faster (even if by a few milliseconds.). On the other hand the PEAR implementation is an emulation built on the 'standard' PHP mysql API. Thus pear does not directly call mysql client libraries so it's going to a lot slower. (may be a hundred milliseconds?)
Anyway who wants to bother with optimizing code when all you gain is a few milliseconds?