Dan at Happy Fun Pundit has suggestions on how to get back into space, the semi-private way:
NASA is about to build the next generation space plane. It should be designed so that its support systems on the ground are minimal, using as much off-the-shelf hardware as possible. NASA can subcontract the design and construction, pay for R&D and flight test prototypes, do the flight testing, and then turn operational control over to Boeing, or McDonnell Douglas, or anyone else with the resources to bid on such a contract. These companies can manufacture the planes and sell them to the military or fly military missions on contract. NASA can contract their own space launches through these companies. For NASA’s investment, it would get priority status for its own launches and for military payloads.
There’s much more, all of it worth your time.