"so who cares if the newbies can't get in easily?"
Anyone running a project on a tight budget! Yes, PHP is short-sighted but newbies can get the demoware ready quickly and cheaply with PHP. When choosing two from [good, fast, cheap] tight budgets imply cheap. Fast will make typical management happier than late goods.
Not caring is always an option, quality survives. Lisp, Smalltalk, etc. Those tools also generate these debates.