I don't think you're correct at all. And I don't think you have any basis to make assumptions about other people's motives, just because you may happen to like one of them more than the other.
Elon Musk is taking a design that's barely changed for decades, and an industry that's got fat and lazy on government pork, and giving it a mighty kick up the arse. This is great for the rocket industry, as the cosy old one wasn't using newer technology to make things cheaper. Now they'll have to.
But rocketry has its limitations. Even with viable re-usable first stages.
Another way to get to orbit would be to use aerodynamics to get you as high as possible, and only rely on rockets for the last stage. That's what Reaction Engines are doing with Skylon and Virgin Galactic / Scaled Composites are doing with Spaceship 2. In the case of Skylon they're trying to solve the problem with one vehicle, whereas Scaled/Virgin are using a carrier plane to get to 40,000 feet.
This may turn out to be the most efficient. The heavy wings and engines you need for lower atmosphere work can be the most efficient possible, as that's all they do. Then the spaceship component only needs the bits for the upper atmosphere, and space itself. In principle it also ought to be safer, as you're using proven (cheap) technology to get to 40,000 feet, rather than a giant
barely controlled explosion rocket.
That shuttlecock tale may be the invention that makes this technology work. Although I don't know if it's good enough for orbital speeds, or if it's possible to carry enough fuel to slow down in orbit enough that you can drop into the atmosphere at safe speed. After all, aeorbraking requires a huge heavy coating of ceramic, to cope with re-entry heating. So it may turn out more efficient to carry a less heavy amount of fuel, and do without the heat shield.
So far as I'm aware none of these 3 options are technological dead-ends. There's loads of development still to do, and materials science is advancing still. It may be we use them all for different things. Rockets will win on heavy lift, but maybe they can never be made much safer, and so spaceplanes will be the way to get people to orbit. And may end up cheaper for small payloads.
Plus there's also hypersonic travel. Concorde shaved 3 hours off the Atlantic crossing. That's nice, but not a game-changer. If you could shave 20 hours off the flight to Australia, that is an enormous difference. Paying £10,000 to fly there in 3 hours, rather than £1,000 to do it in a day, doesn't look like a ludicrous thing to do.