I started with a good computer background but limited coding experience and no knowledge of PHP. I got this book. I looked at it for an hour. I started writing a php test site. I worked my way through the rest of the book in four hours. I worked on the site for the next two days. I got the Sam's PHP in 24 hours book. At the end of a week I had my own online photo management / backup / sharing application up and running.
For high yield learning I've never seen anything that can rival this book. It both told me how to do what I wanted, why to do it that way, and what not to do. Simply, this book is a wonderful starting point for someone who is tech savvy and wants to learn by doing.
Buy it so it arrives on a Friday before a free weekend, you are going to kill the weekend. Go on and buy the Sam's teach yourself PHP in 24 hours now and save yourself the frustration of waiting for it to ship.
I was so happy with this Sam's book that I got PHP in 24 hours and the MySQL in 10 mins books to help with the same project. MySQL in 10 mins is also a great book. I didn't find it as good as PHP in 10 mins, but it's hard to say if that is a difference in the books of a difference in the two topics. (PHP in 24 is great, as I said earlier.)