> Once upon a time, a long time ago, PHP's object model was basically a joke.
I completely disagree. All that a language requires to be called "object oriented" is that it supports encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism, and as these were fully supported in PHP 4 then by definition PHP 4 *WAS* an object oriented language. All those shiny new features added in PHP 5 were not required by OO at all, therefore they can be treated as optional.
Any programmer who is incapable of writing effective software using nothing more than encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism is just that - incapable.