Well I finally managed to get to use Python for a couple of projects for work and must say that I have been really happy about it.
The projects were nothing too involved, just reading Excel files, parsing the data, saving specific records, saving the rejected records to a file and emailing the results to relevant parties.
I made use of a lib called xlrd [http://www.lexicon.net/sjmachin/xlrd.htm], that provides functionality to read Excel files. This definitely opens up a large amount of opportunity with Excel files now, seeing that I never found anything similar for PHP on a Linux platform. No longer have to ask that the files put converted to a text format.
Hopefully I am able to incorporate Python in future projects as and where appropriate, it is a nice language that I really enjoy.