The Best SFTP Plugin for Eclipse
The best and, honestly, the only usable SFTP and/or FTP plugin for Eclipse is Target Management. This plugin makes over-the-SSH development in Eclipse a practical possibility.
One of the greatest features of this plugin is that it allows working with files, without creating a project, something that vanilla Eclipse is insanely paranoid about. Out-of-the-box Eclipse forces you to first create a project. As a consequence, even if you map a remote server as a network drive, over SSH, you may still have problems working in Eclipse. Reason being - Eclipse constantly analyses project files and over SSH it is just too darn slow.
You can use Target Management for local development, too, if you hate creating projects. Actually, it makes sense for PHP development. Whilst Java developers always think in terms of projects and dependencies (guess why - they need to build the darn thing), PHP developers do not have to carry the same burden and may choose to avoid the overhead. By the way - if you are using Eclipse for PHP, you definitely need to install PDT plugin and the easiest way is to install a pre-built, "bundled" version that you can find on the PDT download page: [http://download.eclipse.org/tools/pdt/downloads/]
If you are serious about using Eclipse as your IDE, you definitely need this plugin.
Please note that you have to install CDT plugin, before you can install Target Management. Also, CDT is not part of standard Eclipse distribution so you need to add the update site, just "install required" will not help. The update URL for CDT is: http://download.eclipse.org/tools/cdt/releases/europa
When you are done installing TM, add its primary view to your perspective via:\ Window -> Show View -> Remote Systems\ and start enjoying.