Glad to see you back! Try and stay out this time...
If you still need a dollar when I get home, I can help you out.
Also, for programming experience I'd say do this. But for a crowd of people and releasing commercially, PHP bots are not the way to go for Neopets unless you can be really creative with how you're automating the game.
Have you seen Stealth Core? That might interest you into using .NET.