Private Space Access?

John Carmack of [id software][1] fame has been leading an effort of
space access enthusiasts to build a [manned rocket ship][2]. This
craft will compete with others for the [X-Prize][3] a 10 million
dollar purse awarded to the first crew to launch a man, recover the
craft, and re-launch within two weeks. John Carmack has been
documenting his expenditures and research efforts at the [Armadillo
Aerospace][4] website.

Recently Burt Rutan of [Scaled Composites][5] fame has [announced][6]
his contending craft for the X-Prize. Like [all things Burt Rutan
designs][7], this one is unique.

Is private space access the cash cow of the 21st century?