I live in Rocket City, USA so one would think that I'm all for manned missions to the Moon and Mars, but I'm not.
Just looking at the Challenger and Columbia disasters reminds us that Space is a dangerous place to get to. Perhaps we should focus on safer and cheaper alternatives for orbital insertion? The next generation space shuttle should be a key focus, and there was a study recently released that argued a space elevator could be constructed for 6 billion, which would certainly be cheaper than a manned outpost on the moon.
We've killed enough astronauts already. For now, leave mars to the robots.