Wow, I'm impressed with those of you who checked yourselves. I tried once, but there was no way I could reach my cervix with my huge belly! I'm in the "no" camp. Like Janel said, the only time I think they are useful is to check if you've been having signs of pre-term labor. Otherwise they mean nothing. I've known mamas who've walked around at 5cm for 2 weeks, and moms who weren't dilated at all go into labor a few hours later. To me the risks are too much for something with little to no benefit. There is the risk of infection and breaking the waters accidentally. It can also affect your labor if you get discouraged by the #. Plus, if you're in the hospital, and you aren't dilating at the rate their book says you should, then they start pushing interventions. Also, it seems like it would irritate the cervix being poked at while it's trying to stretch.
I didn't get checked at all with my last pregnancy and labor, and I knew when it was time to push without being told. As far as getting an OB and hospital to agree to that, I guess you can tell him you don't want them, and if he insists, then ask him what the benefits are, and tell him that you don't want the potential risks. I would genuinely be worried about the risk of PROM being a VBAC mom. Once the membranes rupture, you know that starts the clock, and if labor doesn't start on it's own they can't (or shouldn't) use pit to get things going (not that it's a good option anyway), so you could get stuck with a repeat c/s before the baby is even ready to be born, all b/c of an unnecessary cervical check.