I have to agree. I have been through 3 generations of web application development. Circa 1996 1st used Delphi to do CGI programming on O'Reilly Website webserver (!). 2nd Circa 2000 Programmed Java servlets on Sun Javawebserver running on Windows NT interacting with with Informix on HP-UX . 3rd 2003 to now PHP on linux/apache with Postgresql. Staying there until something better...
PHP is pretty ragged sometimes but I have found that people can become productive very quickly, there are lots of good examples (or at least examples). I am leery of the move to "all objects" php5. I have never seen anything that was just impossible in PHP, and usually there is a pre-existing built in function to use, or a PEAR class that can be installed.
I like python a lot and have written extensively in it, doing large Postgresql database load operations in large scale conversions from legacy systems. At one point I was convinced that it would be worth it to do web programming in python but everything just seems to be so immature, and the python web developer base is tiny.
Zope seems ridiculously complex, though it seems to be the poster child for "big time" python success. And it is slow, admit it. And given there are probably dozens of good CMS's in PHP (mediawiki, mambo, drupal, etc) why not skip it. Just because it's "famous in Europe?" (like Slim Whitman?). I think Zope has enough momentum to actually make a buck as a consultant if you get Zope expertise but that is just a guess.
Twisted Matrix seems interesting but practical examples/tutorials of significant production non-toy web apps (e-commerce, CMS, business system/database apps etc.) seem missing. "It does everything and does it fast", "Write an http server in 2 lines!" etc sounds great but where are the real life examples?
I agree with earlier comment that requiring Apache 2 to run latest mod_python is a drag for PHP users. I tried it but compared to ease of development in apache anything and PHP why bother.
I would not worry that much about Rails. Like the twisted matrix crowd there is the tone of "look everything is easy!, a site built in 100 lines of code" and again, where are the real life, in use applications that I can download and look at and which don't look like a high school CS term project.
Anyhow, IMYO, too late for python to make a significant impact for web development, the python news always seems to be dominated by arcane and obscure discussions (i.e decorators). IronPython may be the next big deal, but the alliance with the dark forces of Microsoft and .Net will alienate many.
My two cents...