Well, if you have problems keeping live plants, you probably don't have a decent light (the spectre is important for them) and I can assume you don't, seeing the lamp you have.. Besides, plants need quite some substances from the water(such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc.). In case those are missing, the plants are going to either stop growing, desintegrate and die or get weird spots, curled up leaves, and bloddybloddyblah...
I don't wanna be a smartass (again), i just want to tell you what you might be doing wrong that your plants don't really cooperate...
I myself love live plants and very much prefer them over fake ones, i love my aquarium to look natural, not like a toy, or i don't know. But that's just a personal opinion, every eyes have their own painter afterall;-)I think doing a bit of effort to keep my plants alive and healthy is verywell worth it.
Thanks for the info, Aitas! Even in life non-aquatic, I murder plants like it's my job. I've killed bamboo, violets, cacti, succulents, even lettuce ffs! I'm sure in my tank, my substrate and lighting are all wrong for aqua plants... Maybe someday I'll upgrade the whole shebang, but for now, I think I'll stick with the silk plants and spare the lives of innocent plants the world over.
@lovelykaleidescope - Thanks! I think he's just amazing, and I spend far too much time watching him swim around... sometimes to the detriment of my work, haha!
Hallyx - thanks. I think the name suits him. Wraith actually lives the high life at my office, being not bothered by my three cats. I've been thinking that I want to take my dslr in to take some good pics of him. I've been using my iPhone camera, haha. Once I get his "real" photo shoot set up, I'll PM you.
Tiki- that is a silk plant from Petco. I fail at plants.