Putting stuff into space is an expensive (and dangerous) business. Let's face it, if you really had the choice, which would you prefer, taking off plane-style down a runway, or balanced on top of a tall, thin, pencil-balanced-on-its-end style structure? For that matter, the technology used to get stuff into orbit is very poor on the environmental side. Okay, hydrogen/oxygen engines are green, but the way various stages of the rocket are discarded is a tad wasteful.
When the space shuttle was introduced, the idea was that this was a reusable and hence cheaper and less wasteful vehicle - but it still relies on those huge discarded boosters and fuel tanks.
So if you really could do a plane-style rocket that could take you properly into orbit, rather than a Virgin Galactic sub-orbital flights, it would be quite something. Pie in the sky? Well, yes, it is right now. But a British company called Reaction Engines believes they have the technological concept to make it possible.
You can read more about it here, provided you have a high tolerance for the word 'amazing'.