The good thing about being a pilot is first the joy and thrill of flying, the travel and experiences. There are good paying flying jobs but it can take you a long time and years of lower pay to get there. The bad thing about flying for the airlines is the travel and time away from home, some people do not like this time away from families. Also, with the economy and how the airlines are hurting it is getting harder to get hired into an airline as many have cut back on the amount of pilots they have. So you have many of the furloughed airline pilots looking elsewhere for work and they move into the corporate and charter flying jobs.
Some good flight school colleges are Western Michigan University, www.wmich.edu, University of North Dakota, www.und.edu. There are many other schools that vary greatly in prices from Embry Riddle to several community colleges. Many of the bigger college aviation programs work with a airline or commuter airline to make it easier for a student to get hired into the airlines.
There are two ways to get flight training, through a private flight training school or the military. Emry Riddle is a good university to attend for this. You don't have to go to a college to be a pilot though. You can go to a flight school at your local airport and get training there. It'll be expensive but it can be done at your own pace while you are working at your day job, a university will require full time attendance. I got my private pilot's license back in 1999 and it cost me about $6000. You'll need to get a commercial license which is a step above a private license. A commercial license will allow you to charge for your services or get paid to fly. You'll also want to get instrument rated and a multi-engine rating.
Once you get your commercial license airlines won't start looking at you for employment until you have built up some experience, at least 1000 hours of flight time. Most people will become a flight instructor to build up this experience. Once you are hired as an airline pilot you will start out in the small turboprop puddle jummper and will normally make very low wages. After you gain seniority you will be able to move up into bigger airplanes and make better pay. If you go the military route you'll receive excellent training and will be a great candidate for an airline job.
I would suggest you go to an airfield near you and see if they have a flight school. Most of the time your first flight will be discounted. I would get my private license to see if I like it. The license will also make you more attractive to the military or aeronautical universities you might want to attend. It took me about six months to get my private license.
The life of an airline pilot can be exciting if you love to travel. You will be away from home a lot though.
I love to fly and I know you will too.
It's fun to look at the world from an entirely different perspective. Also, if you need to get somewhere, flying is generally faster than driving!!
If you are interested in becoming a pilot, I'd recommend that you go to your local flight school and talk with an instructor (a CFI). In addition, find someone to mentor you who can answer your questions and can show you first-hand what it's like to fly. Depending on how old you are and where you are located, I'd be willing to be a mentor.