That's pretty awesome. Would be great for somebody like myself considering learning PHP but unaware of all the small (or large) differences between the two languages. If only 1and1 offered dual hosting options I'd be learning PHP already.
Yeah, using the dollar sign takes a little extra effort sometimes, but allows a few neat features, for example, directly injecting a variable into a string instead of using string concatenation, e.g. echo "you are visitor $num"; is equivalent to echo 'you are visitor '.$num; (note the different quotes used - the second example would work with single or double, the first example only works with double quotes).
Also, it allows you to use variable variables - a wacky concept where you can reference a named variable by the value of a different one, e.g. $hello="Hi";$blah='hello';echo $$blah; would return "Hi" - because $blah is "hello", and thus the other $ then says look at the value of the variable named "hello".
The $variable (or sometimes variable$ in other languages) thing reminds me of QBASIC, but I think there are a handful of other languages that do that too, such as RAPIDQ.