Oracle announced Zend yesterday, an integration of PHP with their Oracle 10g database. If I were starting a small Web-based business today, I wouldn't even consider Java. I'd stick with a dynamic language like PHP, Perl, Python, or (gasp) Scheme.
On Scheme, I don't think it was possible to use it in production Web systems even four years ago without significant work. I think its possible now. Much of what I've been playing around with for the last few months has been aimed at determining whether I'd use Scheme for a production Web system and I'm almost there. Right now, I'm playing with integrating dbXml (from Sleepycat) into mzscheme and build a SOAP client library.
Why Scheme? Because I've never been a fan of Common LISP, but happen to believe that LISP offers significantly more abstractive power than other programming languages. You may not agree. In fact, if I'm right, I hope you don't since that gives me a competitive advantage. :-)