A big discussion is always generated whenever anyone discusses PC death in RPGs. It's one of those sharply defined subjects where everyone has an opinion, and anyone who tries to convince them otherwise will have to pry that opinion from their cold, dead minds. I normally avoid writing about such subjects, but i will herewith offer my opinion, with the stated proviso that you are perfectly free to disagree - that's what comments are for - and I won't mind at all if you do, and we can agree to disagree without it being some kind of make or break litmus test. I will pause here to allow anyone who wants to get all angry about it to leave the blog...
OK? We're good? Let's go on!
First of all, this is one of the most simple to change mechanics in most systems. If you don't like what the designer offers, it's easy enough to just change it, so do so if you like the game otherwise, it's not really a valid reason to reject a game on its own, one way or the other. In a few games this sort of thing is inextricably tied into other things, so you can't just delete it. I tend not to like these games anyway, because I think they are over engineered, but your taste may vary, so look before you leap.
I'm generally in favor of the characters running the risk of death, though I generally place that risk low - see Life Spirals elsewhere in this blog. In addition, I like giving the PCs lots of ways to avoid death - sometimes immunity from limited forms of random death, as in PC immunity to random cannon fire In Harm's Way; Luck; limited auto-success or auto-fail; etc. In exchange, though, my rolls are in the open, and if a character *does* die, he dies. No fudging. Generally, these deaths are the result of a PC pushing things too far and failing. So be it. That's a good thing, in my book. They knew what the risk was, and they chose to ignore the warning. If the potential gain wasn't worth the risk, they wouldn't have run it. These deaths seem to come off rather heroic in general, and are remembered fondly by the party.
Some genres shouldn't have PC death as a GM-only option, like 4 color Supers. Gritty street level supers is another matter. Pulp games should be very chary of random, meaningless deaths, but a heroic death? Awesome! It's all about the feel you want for the genre you are emulating.