I believe freedom of speech is still alive and well, most especially in democratic countries. A website such as this one is good enough proof to me! There are many different opinions on each and every single topic found here, and many of them have the potential of being quite controversial, but it won't keep any of us from expressing ourselves.
It might be true that political correctness is an obstacle to free speech, but, in my opinion, it's only an obstacle, not a wall or a dead end.
I think freedom, in any form, comes with a price. If freedom would exist without costs or consequences, we'd live in a world of chaos and anarchy. Additionally, I would say that true freedom doesn't go in one direction; if you say something, you have to expect someone else, who is also using freedom of speech, to counter your argument.
Of course, there's the issue of getting in jail or getting sued for things we say. The big question is; how to find an acceptable border between the freedom of an individual and the freedom of the majority? We might never truly find a perfect solution. I think we all have some responsability concerning what we say or write, whether it be on internet or in real life, and that we should think before we say something that could potentially offend other people. The way I see it, it's just a sign of respect towards those who might hear or read our message.
The shield of freedom of speech is often tainted by people who use it to promote extreme, sometimes violent thoughts. By doing so, they misuse the sacrifice of our ancestors who fought to establish and maintain freedom.