Ajax and JavaScript tool recommendations

I'm just returning to some web development and have been discovering a lot of cool tools have matured since I last did some work (4 years ago).

I'm looking for some recommendations on a good Ajax/Javascript toolset like those listed in the tags. Comments on what works with what, what is glitz and what is good.

I have project that will will be a web-based (PHP/MySQL) work-order tracking system - mostly a set of master-detail pages with some clever task-asssginment logic in php. I'm developing on a Mac with Dreamweaver CS3, but generally use that to get the base look and layout and then use PHP and JavaScript to tune it up.  

I'm not looking to make a glitzy, flashy site, but do think some of the new Ajax capabilites could make for a much nicer interface from log-on to master-detail displays.

All opinions and comments greatly welcomed!
HarrzackAsked:
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HarrzackConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Yes - already have firebug and webdev... Def good stuff!

Wondering about Exjs and jQuery - is Exjs a more recent package one migh pick over jquery or do they each offer different capabiliies?

Like scriptolicius is an add-on for Prototype... do these other packages work together or are they standalones, and you can use each? An embarssment of riches for sure!

And then there is CakePHP - can the javascipt tools work along with that? which ones?  ARRGH!  :-)
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Michael701Commented:
Firefox plugins Firebug, Poster and WebDevelopment
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