Setanta, you're actually making sense on this thread. I also think space travel is a non-starter probably forever (but i think we should forever research ways to make it happen).
As for alien life out there, there's just not enough stars for it to be possible all over again as it was on this planet. Drake Equation is too simple, there are about 100 fundamental variables now, not just the handful in the Drake Equation.
The argument for alien life being out there rests on 898119 billion billion trillion being a biiiig number. Big compared to what? The calculated no. of stars and planets out there just isn't enough for it to be stastically possible. Again, i hope it is possible and i hope we continue researching it forever and ever. It's funny when people base their argument on the wow bigness of a number though.