Can anything be more frustrating than configuring Apache/PHP/MySQL on your PC? I don't think so!
The whole sleepless night later I finally managed to make Apache work with some matching version of PHP. Problem, however, remains that I cannot possibly make Apache load the php.ini file. It works with some default configuration and just refuses to load the .ini file no matter what voodoo I do with the httpd config or anything else. It's not the "PHPIniDir" problem as everyone suggests on the forums, because if I screw with the PHPIniDir directive in httpd config then Apache stops working at all. Meaning that it reads the directive, and, presumably, considers it right. Regardless of whether I point it to c:windows or c:php5 it appreciates it and doesn't load ini file anyway. Please help, anyone...!