Normally, when people say "the universe is infinite" they generally mean something like "the observable universe is locally flat, it is easy to assume that it is flat way beyond the observable universe, I don't know what lies beyond that, I won't talk about that, that is enough for practical purposes" (or any other proposition implying infinity in any direction and assumed for simplicity's sake while actually focussing on a small region of the space, the observable universe). So, "the universe is infinite" does not seriously mean that physical space goes on forever because this simply makes no sense at all, "infinite" is not a number, it is not a magnitude, it is not a property of real things (if you disagree with this premise please explain how the notion of infinity can be seriously applied to any direction of physical space, i.e. how you can seriously think to extend, sic et simpliciter, such a property of your mathematical model to the real world). (Personally I don't think this should be counted as a theory of the shape of the universe at all).
On the contrary, "the universe is finite and unbounded, compact, closed in all directions" is indeed a meaningful and in principle acceptable theory because it can be thought, described, discussed for what it actually implies. Of course, we don't know what lies beyond the observable universe but the idea of a compact universe makes sense and it seems to me this is the only meaningful explanation currently available of what "could" be (it is not necessarily the right, true explanation, of course).
Is there any other meaningful alternative (which can be thought, described, discussed)? Is there any alternative to the dichotomy "finite universe" vs "infinite universe"? Is there anybody out there working on models that overcome this dichotomy?