Well, I work with both PHP and VB and I really don't agree (sorry, but I have buds that I work with that think the other way, hehe) but if you go to a small orange, they are very reliable. I have a few sites I manage there. You will get the CP and I believe they offer the free PHP. (I will post back if not). That is definately a server to consider if you are starting either PHP or VB.
If it is your first site, you may want to consider getting someone with expirence that can set it up for you. You are looking at the URL name for about $15 per year. Small orange package for $5 per month so if you go with the annual VB you are looking at $85 which is $100 plus 5 per month. If you want to play with the PHP you would only be at the $15 plus $5 per month and could get someone to set it up for you for the $85 (or less) easily for a simple setup (actually, what I find more of a problem is the upgrades and hacks or modification of skins working with PHP just easier with VB). IF you don't have a lot of uploads or links to whatever, you can inport the PHP site to VB ( a little tricky, but it works). Again, if you are not sure what you are doing, try it and if you screw it up someone can come in and set it up in about 1/2 hour with a basic setup easily and you can play with it. It depends on your finances.
Also there are a few other boards out there that you may want to consider that work well. It depends on how much you want to customize them.