Enterprise Search: Has anybody developed on FAST ESP? What did you think about it?

I work for a scandinavian yellow pages. The company is looking at moving its bespoke search technology over to FAST ESP.

Like all big, expensive systems with relatively few installations, it is difficult to get feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the system.

Are there any stackoverflowers who have experience of FAST ESP and want to share?

Does PHP feature short hand syntax for objects?

In javascript you can easily create objects and Arrays like so:

var aObject = { foo:'bla', bar:2 };
var anArray = ['foo', 'bar', 2];

Are similar things possible in PHP?
I know that you can easily create an array using the array function, that hardly is more work then the javascript syntax, but is there a similar syntax for creating objects? Or should I just use associative arrays?

$anArray = array('foo', 'bar', 2);
$anObjectLikeAssociativeArray = array('foo'=>'bla',
                                      'bar'=>2);

So to summarize:
Does PHP have javascript like object creation or should I just use associative arrays?