You can send Amazon a Request to Remove Email Sending Limitations which by default limit the amount of email traffic instances can process.
Although I settled on using the PHP SDK I read the doco for the Java SDK EC2 client: Class AmazonEC2Client. The corresponding PHP API is here. Also How to get list of EC2 instances with Amazon PHP SDK 2 from StackOverflow was useful. All AWS SDKs are here and there are command-line tools. There is AWS SDK for PHP Documentation. This article Provision an Amazon EC2 Instance with PHP was a handy starting place. I also saw the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud API Reference. I also read AWS SDK for PHP: Run an Amazon EC2 Instance.
I started a project at ProgClub called make-love, which is my server re-instantiation script. It shows how to use the AWS PHP SDK and the r53.php code for programming AWS Route53 DNS services. Documentation on the Route53 client can be found at Ordering Disorder. More on r53.php at SourceForge. I added a new function listAllResourceRecordSets to the Route32 class and commented out some SSL validation code because validation was failing and it's no big deal to ignore it.