Get my tickets all the time on email and I have to say it works like a charm. Only thing is getting a hand on a print out can be tricky if you are already on the road but most people aren't when they book
So, rest assured, this system works fine!
What company did you book at?
Air Asia use print out tickets and it works fine, only the booking number is enought and even if you lost your booking number, they can search on your name when you check-in.
Often all you need these days is some form of ID. They have all your details in their system already generally. Sometimes I've had a printout and they have pretty much ignored it. It's a much more convenient system - as far as I'm concerned it's actually less worry this way.
Thanks for these replies, just wanted to make sure I wasn't being ripped off - it's the technology nowadays, far too ahead of itself, which I suppose is a good thing!
So all I have to do is memorize my booking number and make sure I have ID..should be ok unless on my travels I lose my memory completely and have all my ID stuff stolen (talk about paranioa) hehe