Political Correctness has always struck me as a form of genteel hypocracy. Going hand in hand with the genteel racism that is far more prevalent than the overt kind these days. At best, patronizing and demeaning.
Or maybe basic dishonesty, to others if not to self. The goal seems noble. To use words that don't have negative connotations. Kim C mentioned that history wasn't "PC". Neither is life. Trying to make it so seems like a basic dishonesty. To self and others.
One goal is to eliminate "loaded" language, which seems based, in part, on semantics. Last I read (Wolfgang any thoughts?) The whole idea of the efficacy of semantics (a la Korsibski and the General Semantics crowd) on modifying behavior had been regulated to the realm of psychobabble.
Which is better. The honesty of not offending (unintentionally) or being who/what you are and if that bothers someone, dealing with it one-on-one (utopian perhaps). And suffering the social consequences from peers or carefully guarding what you say and think because it might offend. I prefer the honesty.
In academia, take a look at this site and read The Shadow University, Kors and Silvergate to get an idea of how far it can go. (And has).