This is long. If you don't want to read it all, it's separated by some of the stuff I've seen so far in the thread.
I'll try to put some of this discussion to rest. I'm a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force beginning pilot training, and I have countless family friends who have taken a lot of avenues into, out of, and all around the flying world.
First off, the military is a great way to fly....if you can get into it. It's not easy to get a pilot slot. I repeat, it's not easy to get a pilot slot. First and foremost, you must be a commissioned officer to fly in the Air Force. This also means that you must have a college degree in order to become an officer. Avenues for commissioning include but are certainly not limited to:
1. Enlisting and then applying for OTS (Officer Training School). This option requires that you have a degree now, plan on doing a few years in a job that may be totally random based on your performance in the early stages of enlistment, and then will do well enough to get into the competitive OTS program. Then, OTS may have enough pilot slots to count on one hand for the entire class, so you will need to be a top graduate. This option ensures you will have a 1% chance of becoming an Air Force pilot by approximately 2017 if you start tomorrow.
2. ROTC. Scholarships through ROTC are typically very hard to get without a nice resume, assuming you are attending a good school. My little brother is apparently one of 2 at CSU in his class on any type of scholarship for ROTC (I think that's what he said, I may have misunderstood). 4 years of college, commissions out of ROTC are becoming very competitive since the military is force shaping (meaning if you aren't so awesome, they kick you out to save money), and even if you did get a commission out of the program there are only about 400 pilot slots for all AF ROTC graduates in the entire country. Once again, this option requires that you are in the top of your competition.
3. Air Force Academy. This option isn't even an option without some kick ass ACT/SAT's, an outstanding resume, references, a lot of willpower and determination, and a desire to take Astronautical Engineering 410 even if you desire a Bachelor of Science in English (yes, even English guys get a BS degree from there after so much engineering core). The class of 2015 is admitting 1,100 from a pool of ~15,000 candidates that had qualifying applications. Probably 800 will graduate. Good luck with this option, but if you did make it each class typically has 500 of the AF's 1,000 pilot slots every year. Half of most classes go on to fly.
Next, if you go through AF UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) and finish this multimillion dollar program, you'll pay it back with 10 years of pretty well payed service. There is no way to do it with 3, not sure who told you that. Some aircraft deploy a lot, some not ever. A consideration that is probably overlooked by some entering the military...
Commercial airliners.....no one can say for sure where we will be in the next 10, 20, 30 years regarding demand of commercial pilots. However, it's extremely easy to find someone capable of flying an airplane that can takeoff, cruise, and land by itself. Frankly, I don't think we even need pilots for large transportation/cargo aircraft. The military is becoming heavily reliant on unmanned aircraft in combat, and I think they will head a revolution in the way our society flys. We do have pilots because if/when ANYTHING goes wrong in that aircraft, you need a face to save the day and/or place blame on. People aren't going to like the idea of flying with a mainframe in the left seat, so it won't happen soon in my opinion. Another consideration is cyber warfare, a huge new frontier for war. Can you imagine a hacker taking over Delta's system and sending 100 jumbo jets into a crowded city? Could happen if we weren't careful with that technology.
SPARKNOTES: I love flying, and I don't care much about money right now. I have a Civil Engineering degree and passed my FE to make sure I can venture into that field if things change for me. If you want to do it, go for it. But to assume you will be making $100-160,000 as a commercial pilot is an absurd risk.
Also...if someone gives you advice, don't blow it off until you see a post that reinforces your previous biases. Fujarome had some good stuff to say, listen up.