Exactly. I just found an excellent book "Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL" by Kevin Yank. They just released second edition. The first 4 chapters are free for downloading. The URL is http://sitepoint.com. I was using O'Reilly's MySQL book and the PHP Bible, but this book actually got me started. For me, PHP itself was easy because it is so much like C.
Yes, I've decided this is a good opportunity for me to learn a new language. I haven't done that for a few years now. :o) PHP is clearly a useful skill to know these days.
I have the book "Core PHP Programming" which seems to contain far too much waffle. The variables section, for instance, starts off buy describing that a variable "is a value held somewhere in the computer's RAM", etc.
So I gave up on that and am now wading through the online PHP manual, which is very good. The language is quite simple compared to peers like Perl, and doesn't seem to have any unique features to learn (except the === operator which I've not seen before).
I've not produced anything with it yet, but I'm confident it's the right choice for what I need.