A defense of the Space Shuttle: The Remarkable Record of the Space Shuttle – CitizensInSpace.
The Shuttle certainly demonstrated lots of important capabilities and applications. Unfortunately, it was too expensive to do any of them operationally. We will have to wait for fully reusable space transports for that.
Here’s an unusual concept for a big suborbital space vehicle: SHIPinSPACE – 48 Passenger Suborbital Reusable Blasting Survival Vehicle – Investor presentation (pptx)/a>.