If it's a PIF item I don't see the problem with paying as a gift, because most of the time the item is FREE, and you're just covering shipping. If you want to file a dispute against someone that gave you a free item at just the cost of shipping because you aren't happy with it, that's pretty stupid imo. Now if it never shows up period, I can see the problem with that.
That said, I've had quite a few members in the classified section ask me to pay as a gift to avoid the fees. I usually tell them I will just add the 3% to the cost that I am paying them to cover the fees and pay as "Goods", just to cover my own butt... No one has had a problem with that yet. I could see doing that with a big item that would have expensive shipping in the PIF section, just add 3% to the shipping cost and pay as goods.