> 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.

That sounds like what I'm coding in ruby with fastcgi right now.  It's
working great so far.

I use Amrita as a template engine, a model-view-controller structured
framework for the app, and mysql as a backend database, with a -very-
light object-relational layer that I hacked together on top.

> #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.

Sounds like a job for wxRuby.  API's a bit weird, but it works...

Ari