A few pithy quotes from around the blogosphere:
To paraphrase advocate Aubrey de Grey: Would widespread use of life-extension technology lead to problems? Obviously it would. Would it lead to any problems as serious as continuing to have a hundred thousand people die every day (the status quo)? No.
Oracle's Larry Ellison has also pushed science aggressively in this area, but we haven't heard much about his efforts of late. If there is a place where the Fountain of Youth will be discovered, it will probably be here. There is more health research, and money going to fund it, than anywhere else. And there are wealthy entrepreneurs who want to fund this sort of thing.
In the end, some of this comes down to personal values, and the overriding one from my viewpoint is that of retaining and exercising our capacities for as long as possible, rather than suffering the humiliations of decline and dependence. Despite all the pro-death propaganda around, I'm betting that this value will eventually prevail.
"If a thirty-year projection sounds like science fiction, it may be wrong. If it doesn't sound like science fiction, then it is definitely wrong." - Chris Peterson & Gayle Pergamit
If you've picked up an interest in healthy life extension within the past couple of years, you might not be familiar with the work of the Ellison Foundation. It is fairly quiet in comparison to the more vocal folk and organizations in aging research and related fields.
The Ellison Medical Foundation supports basic biomedical research on aging relevant to understanding lifespan development processes and age-related diseases and disabilities. The Foundation particularly wishes to stimulate new, creative, research that might not be funded by traditional sources or that is often under-funded in the U.S.
You can find a most interesting debate (on video and in PDF format) in the archives of the sadly defunct SAGE Crossroads website. Aubrey de Grey talks timelines for anti-aging research with Richard Sprott of the Foundation; you should take a look while it is still available online.
If pushed to make a categorization, I'd put the Ellison Foundation on the conservative side of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging, but to the adventurous side of the Longevity Dividend crowd.