What’s depressing is not that PHP is horribly designed. Does anyone even dispute that PHP is the worst designed mainstream “language” to blight our craft in decades? What’s truly depressing is that so little has changed.
The best way to fix the PHP problem at this point is to make the alternatives so outstanding that the choice of the better hammer becomes obvious.
I think Ruby is almost there. Deploying a Ruby web-app is getting easier as we speak, with free hosts available (such as Heroku), and a easy to use Apache / Nginx module (Passenger). As for Python, slightly more work is needed to streamline deployment options.
Java is a gone case. The closest usable thing is probably the Play Framework, available in both Java and Scala. It throws out most Java EE standards and takes after some conventions popularised by Ruby on Rails.