I would like to know if the Space Shuttle orbiters would have been capable of utilizing the [Energia][2] Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) used by the [Buran][1] instead of the External tank/SRB configuration. And if so, could the HLLV have been modified to use a parachute recovery system or to utilize the DCX/Clipper Graham tested vertical rocket landing method now, being used by SpaceX with their Falcon 9 booster?

This architecture would have at least prevented orbiter loss from insulation breaking off and damaging the tiles. Of course this would have required a steep learning curve for NASA, as well as flight testing the new system, however it would have at least preserved the orbiters as a viable delivery and space operations and maintenance platform for several more decades, until a truly reusable  SSTO/TSTO system could be developed.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft)
[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energia_(corporation)