I don't think that aikido is exactly meant for say, combat- ie, fighting between two trained individual intent on really hurting each other. But I study aikido not to enter into battles- I want to be able to defend myself against some kid at school w/o beating the crap out of him, or some weirdo who wants to hit me for the hell of it, or an out of control friend. Think about it- in what situations do you actually have to fight all out against a sober opponent who is trying to do serious harm to you? If you respond with an example of being, say, mugged, then take into account the fact that almost all muggers use a weapon- either a gun or a knife. Nobody goes up to you weaponless and expect you to, out of some strange generosity, give them your wallet and valuables. Most martial artists I've spoken with, when given such a scenario say, "Give them your wallet, and hope they don't attack you." The panopticon of our justice system usually makes it so that they won't kill you out of fear of jail, etc.
What I'm worried about is not being mugged- if I were, I would carry a knife or a gun and study how to use them. I'm worried about hurting people that doesn't deserve to be injured. And I think that aikido does teach your that, especially if you continue to take it for long enough. And techniques can be altered to be dangerous if the situation calls for it- many kokyu nages can be turned into breaks, most of the wrist techniques as well(in JJ, ikkyo is finished as a break), koshi nages can hurt like a bitch on concrete if the thrower wants to injure you, etc. I think that if you want to learn more combative applications, take judo(taught as SD, not a sport), Kali, etc. And remember that even O' Sensei, the Gracies, Bruce Lee all couldn't dodge bullets.
And I agree with you- I do aikido b/c its fun, not because I want to fight people.