mostly a holdover from the days when we used to trust NASA. it was inconceivable that a private company could launch a 'Vulture 1' and compete with the US government.
now, its not so certain. both the dragon and k-1 look viable, and the current space program needs them... but i want to withhold judgement until i see either docking at the ISS.
Bigelow is working on inflatable structures to build a private space station. But he is contracting with others, including Space-X, to launch his modules.
Armadillo Aerospace is still working on their vehicles but they are not even ready for suborbital flights yet, and don't seem like they will be any time soon. They would not be SSTO anyway.
What ever happened to the Spacex Falcon 9 assembled at Cape Canaveral last year?
The Spacex Falcon 9 is a commercial rocket designed and built by Spacex Exploration Technologies. They are built and assembled as needed when private companies contract with them to get their payloads into orbit.
NASA has contracted with Spacex to use their rocket for resupply of the ISS once the space shuttle has been retired. Other government agencies and private companies can purchase a launch of the Falcon 9 for roughly $50 million. Spacex does have a disclaimer that reserve the right to find a co-passenger if you use less than 80% of the 23,000 pound payload.
Always be sure to read the fine print before deciding on a low Earth orbit launch and delivery system.