An hour into the game, I cant even get off the stinking launch pad yet =P
Hmmm. If the engine is igniting and you are getting full throttle, but the rocket is not going up, you probably have too little thrust and/or too much mass.
Try one of the stock ships to learn with. I highly recommend the Kerbal-X. It uses the Asparagus staging for the outer six tanks/engines. Take note of the fuel lines and how the separation (staging) sequencing is set. . It has enough fuel to reach orbit, but you have to fly it without being too inefficient.
It takes awhile to learn to manually fly them. And then awhile more to learn to make orbit. Once you can manually make orbit, I think it's fair game to go with MechJeb for routine flying.
Once you can get a stock ship to fly well, then try your own. Better yet, try making mods to a stock ship and see the effects. Then go to totally scratchbuilt later.
Some more pics:
On the Mun, near one of the arches.
A launch vehicle that was part of challenge to get the greatest mass fraction into orbit (mass orbited divided by liftoff mass). Anyway, the dead mass (payload) were two 3-Kerbal pods plus a 1-Kerbal pod, so in theory this could put 7 crew into orbit (but it didn't have any RCs thrusters or ability to rendezvous & dock. But it could have been modified to do so). The launch vehicle used aerospike type engines. All arranged for Asparagus staging, of course.
an unmanned probe, about to go down into the deep hole at the north pole of Moho
Exhaust view of my old Synchronicity-I lander
Crew after landing Synchronicty-I on Duna (Mars)
Starting to get crowded on the Mun
One way of landing a Bobcat Rover on the Mun.
Nice exhaust view looking up. This ship used some NovaPunch parts and engines.
Launch of the "Space Taxi" seen earlier.
The game added re-entry effects, but not any re-entry heat damage (yet). Unfortunately, thiings did not end well for this Kerbal when the last stage ran out of fuel before reaching orbit, and there were no chutes. But it looks pretty.......
- George Gassaway