This is certainly a topic that has generated it's fair share of discussion over the years. But I thought it to be more of a common understanding by now that max pressure provides no real benefits, and may even be detrimental. So I guess the debate continues.
The one area where my experience directly contracts the advice is flats. I was getting one a week until I took the advice of just about everyone who commutes round here, which was to keep tyre pressures close to the max. Now, I hardly ever flat but regularly spent time chipping shards of glass out of the tyre.
Funny, I have found the exact opposite to be true. By running at a lower pressure, I generally have far fewer flats than when approaching the max PSI.
I'm sure we could all dig up endless articles that attempt to clarify the issue of tire pressure, but I'll provide just a few for the moment.
Sheldon Brown's encyclopedic reference is always a good starting point for bike-related discussions:http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#pressure
This from one of the best columns Velonews ever ran: Ask Nickhttp://velonews.competitor.com/2010/11/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/ask-nick-tire-pressure-the-mechanic-as-caddy-light-bikes-and-amateur-equipment_149851
Almost every racer I’ve ever met over-inflates his tires
As an aside, another great one from Nick Legan: A very detailed breakdown on the tires, and specific pressures, used for Paris-Roubaix.http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/04/bikes-and-tech/what-tires-wheels-and-pressures-were-roubaix-riders-running_212925
There are countless articles on tire pressure. For those of you interested in detailed reading, follow any of these links to the many detailed offerings from Lennard Zinn.http://velonews.competitor.com/tag/tire-pressure