While I've always fancied myself a LAMP dev, I was still very new to development at that point, so the "hack it together" way of doing things made much more sense, because it was easier. Mixing views/templates with business logic (and database access) was easier than learning and implementing good architecture. Separation of concerns? Who needs that? (It was more like "what's that?" back then, but I digress) Thankfully, I've seen the error of my ways and have continued to mature as a developer. I think most seasoned developers would agree that this is an all-too-common pitfall that new developers fall into.
Valid criticisms of PHP abound, but the level of vitriol here and elsewhere is puzzling.