The PCT is definitely on my life-list, tho' I may have to wait for retirement or tenure-track job (plus tenure and sabbatical) to make it a reality. I'm sort of a mid-life second career guy, so that may be awhile.
Perhaps I should explain a bit more about my interest. First, of course, is the opportunity for a long-ish hike through (virtually) roadless wilderness. Second, I have in mind a writing project using the hike as a kind of backbone to discuss how ideas about wilderness and civilization have affected landscapes in the West, esp. the change from thinking of wilderness as land to be conquered and settled, to thinking of wilderness as land to be preserved and protected.
Frank Church/Selway is compelling to me for several reasons. First, the protected area is very large--Frank Church I believe is considered one of if not the largest contiguous wilderness area in lower 48. Second, area is not as well known as JMT/Sierra--less has been written about it before. Third, as Frankle's trail journals indicate, there are extant backcountry ranches and airstrips in the Frank, and the ruins of earlier settlements, mining operation, etc. Obviously there's that in CA too, but again ID is much less written about. Finally, Frank/Selway is the site of successful "re-wilding" (wolf reintroduction) and has been discussed for grizzly reintroduction. In Idaho, this is all very controversial, making for an interesting story as a lot of the debate today isn't too different from that when Muir and other early conservationists were alive. On the down side, my usual hiking preference is to be out of the trees and up high--it seems Frank/Selway has less of that to offer than other places.
I'll be starting a part-time faculty position this fall in the Landscape Architecture dept. at Washington State University, so plan to make background research for the hike part of my academic activities outside teaching over the next year. Basically, the goal here is to find some way to incorporate part of my profession into backpacking, rather than my profession distracting from it.