Q: Which tools should one use in order to have the perfect PHP coding environment?
1. Download XAMPP which contains Apache web server + php + perl + Mysql and much more.
2. Download eclipse PDT (php IDE).
3. Install & configure a debugger for PHP (most recommended is Zend's debugger).
4. Install fiddler - a great web debugging proxy.
5. Install wireshark if you have an external component (like an exrternal DB) and you want to sniff the traffic.
6. Configure your fiddler to catch traffic in your localhost (If your DB is internal).
You've got the tools,
Now it's all about you...