Why in the world would one want to use text-based protocol? Really. WTF Dudes?
Yes, you can telnet a server on port 80 and debug… maybe. That’s about it.
Wikipedia says: “Binary protocols have the advantage of terseness, which translates into speed of transmission and interpretation”.
Lower costs would be caused by: less electricity used, cheaper hardware at the ends and along the way, less bandwidth.
I would also expect programs to be written in better ways just because of handling a binary protocol. A special library would always be used (I hope). There would probably be less stupid Perl scripts each implementing their own parsing of the query string, HTTP headers, and MIME POST body instead of using existing libraries. It would be much harder. There wouldn’t be less stupid people though… I mean that the same people that wrote those scripts would write some other stupid scripts.
HTTP does not support two-way communication in the way required for current internet applications. Wake up! Internet is mostly about applications these days and much less about documents.
Unfortunately I guess we are stuck because of the costs of upgrading to something better. I predict that we will continue to see increasing number of clever hacks to overcome the limitations of this pre-historic protocol.