I am looking into a solution for protecting, as the title suggests, my PHP source. I want to use it for fairly elaborate web applications (commercial) to keep people from stealing and altering my source. I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with such things and could add their input as to how effective, easy, etc. these things are and your favorite(s), if applicable.

I am currently looking at the ionCube PHP Encoder and the Zend Encoder. I'm open to other ideas, as well. These are just the two that have gotten the most of my attention. One big question is: "Is there something similar that isn't so expensive?" lol Always money, money...

Anyway, all input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!