For the past 18 months working with PHP, i've primarily used alternatives, not out of preference, but because netbeans xdebug integration consistently failed me. It would (might) work with a remote apache, but would not play with scripts executed remotely from the command line. I could be fairly sure my xdebug config was sound as I no problems with MacGDB and PHPStorm whatsoever.
With a little more investigation, he discovered that it was the OSX firewall causing issues. He found that, with a new incoming connection came a confirmation box to approve the connection. This, of course, wasn't passed along to Netbeans so he never saw it. In the end, he set up a reverse SSH tunnel to bypass the firewall completely (command included).