Please forgive my self-centered question.  I've been learning all about Ruby 
for the past month, but had one main question on my mind, that I don't know 
how else to answer.   So I have to ask the experts on the list....

I have two pretty-big programming projects coming up that I'm in complete 
control of.  I can decide the language, requirements, and everything.

I'm not a "real" programmer that went to college for this or has years of C.  
I'm just a person that learned HTML then PHP then had my PHP projects grow to 
the point where I realized I needed the benefits of OOP.

I just finally really understood OOP only a month ago.  It took a few books, 
but I really "get" it now, and love it.

I started learning Ruby then, as a way to force myself into OOP style, instead 
of sticking with PHP and accidently slipping back into procedural style.  
(What better way to learn object-thinking than with a language that is ALL 
objects?)

So now it's time to start my two big projects:

#1 - a web-store.  (http://www.cdbaby.com - It's pretty popular.  A lot of 
traffic.)   Right now the code is 5 years of spaghetti, started when I only 
knew HTML and slowly built with PHP as I was learning it.   It's such a mess 
that it needs a total overhaul, which I'm really excited about.

It's not your usual embedded-bits-in-HTML, it's fully 100% PHP-driven now, 
with all HTML being pulled from templates dynamically merging with MySQL 
data.

I'm ready to re-do it from scratch, using whatever language and tools are 
best.


#2 - a standalone app for downloading and converting-or-burning hifi audio 
files (like WAV).   A little free GUI program that would have to run on 
Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, using each OS's native GUI look & feel.



Neither project is any big rush.  The DOING & LEARNING is more of the point 
than the end-product.  (That's why I don't just hire an expert.  I like to 
learn for myself.)

I *like* Ruby.  I don't mind that it's not so popular.  I don't need to 
impress any boss or investors.  I'd *like* to use it for both of these 
projects...

... but I can't tell if I would be making a big mistake, in the end.

Though I want to learn and use Ruby for these, I shouldn't do it if the 
end-result will not also be the best.

SO:

Should I stick with PHP for the web-store, but rewrite it with an OOP style?
Should I hire someone that knows C or Python for the standalone audio app?

What do you guys think?

Any opinions appreciated.