Ok I got a really silly question to ask

This is supposed to be very simple but its not cutting it for me so here is the question.

I have a user registration form..the user enters his/her info and clicks submit.

server does some error checking..if errors are found, an error message is displayed to the user ....

now, I want to be able to retain the user's information in the input textboxes so that the input boxes do not go blank...

so how do I do this?

This is what I have:

<form name="myform" method="post" action='<?=$_SERVER['PHP_SELF'];?>'>
<input type="text" name="email" id="email" value="<?=$_POST['email'];?>"/>

This is supposed to work right? however I get an error message saying that the index 'email' is undefined.

THe other solution is to make the code ugly like this:

<input type="text" name="email" id="email" value="<? if(isset($_POST['email'])) echo $_POST['email']; ?>"/>

and I sure dont want to do it this way...its too long and ugly...

Am I missing something in the first method?