Yes - I believe a loss of life is acceptable and inevitable. The state of the art is currently the bloated NASA system. My hope is that a leaner, private approach will be more effective and safer. I'm not sure I'm willing to make a prediction on whether that will be true or not. For one thing, NASA doesn't have the problem of profit to be concerned about.
I wish I could upvote your comments more than once. It's interesting that this forum that celebrates taking extreme (financial) risks in exchange for possibly great (financial) reward has a hard time with NASA scientists, engineers, and astronauts taking calculated risks. 100% safety is not a productive strategy.
Hell, even 20-50% safety isn't necessarily a productive strategy, if you pay too much for it.
I think the main trick is to reduce the unit cost/training investment in astronauts so that we can send up more, and making very cheap vehicles to get them there, so that we'll not have to worry about losing a big investment when (not if) something goes wrong. Putting hundreds of millions of trained meat into billions of dollars worth of aerospace tech is not sustainable.
If it would get me to the moon with a 1 in 3 chance, hell, give me a banana and call me Albert VII.
"Extreme financial risk might or might not kill people.
Space shuttles exploding will definitely kill people."
Don't make such a big jump from the first to the second. You could have also said, "Extreme space exploration risk might or might not kill people." Fact is, in both finances and space exploration, in rare cases it has led to the death of those involved (directly or indirectly). But those cases are rare and the rewards are so great, and so we press on.