Reading this other question makes me wonder if I (as an absolute beginner PHP programmer) should stick with WAMP and Notepad++ or to switch to some IDE like Eclipse.
It's understandable that skilled developers will benefit from a big shiny IDE. But why should an absolute beginner use an IDE? Do the benefits outweigh the extra challenge of learning the IDE on top of learning to develop?
Update for clarification:
My goal is to get some basic programming experience. By choosing PHP and WAMP (and FogBugz and Kiln) I hope to avoid having to navigate the tricky / messy OS specifics and compiling etc. and just focus on basic functionality like an online user registration form.
I've got lots of theoretical understanding from university a decade ago but no practical experience. I want to remedy that with a hobby project that would be similar to a real-world sellable web app.
There are so many questions to ask. So many pitfalls I probably have to blunder into. This question is just one piece (my first!) of that puzzle.