With some of the recent talk about the consistency of naming methods in PHP (or lack thereof) Phil Sturgeon has put together some ideas about why this (and unicode) changes aren't happing in the language.
PHP is well known for having an inconsistent API when it comes to PHP functions. Anyone with an anti-PHP point of view will use this as one of their top 3 arguments for why PHP sucks, while most PHP developers will point out that they don't really care. [...] Another big thing that anti-PHP folks laugh about is the lack of scalar objects, so instead of $string->length() you have to do strlen($string). ANOTHER thing that people often joke about is how PHP 6.0 just never happened, because the team were trying to bake in Unicode support but just came across so many issues that it never happened.
He shares an "obvious answer" to the problems and shares a theory as to why it's not happening - that no one is really working on out (outisde of this POC) and some of the handling with the recent property accessors RFC. He finishes off the post with three more points, all related to the results of the voting - little points seem to get voted in easier, the representation of developers in the process and that at least one of the "no" votes had to do with not wanting to maintain the results.
Making changes to this language should not be blocked just because a quiet minority of the core team don't like the idea of being asked to do stuff.
Be sure to check out the comments on the post - there's lots of them, so be sure you have some good time to read.