Here's the sugarcoated version (civilian route):
Get a $40-50grand loan, it should pretty much cover training. If you can get an associates through you're training, even better.
1. Get PPL.
(The following is the order I'm doing, though some will do the multi later on...)
2. PPL Multi
3 Instrument multi
4. Commercial Multi, single add on
8. Find a good FBO and commit to 2-3 solid years of top ramen, mac and cheese, and flying your ass off as an instructor.
9. While you're instructing, take some classes and finish off your 4 year degree somewhere (doesn't matter where)...
10. APPLY APPLY APPLY APPLY APPLY
The biggest thing you've got to do, and you'll hear it from everyone, is NETWORK. Get to know people who might be able to give you an inside track later on. Scratch their back and one day they'll scratch yours.
edit- Another suggestion is to NOT get your training in Europe... lol They pay an arm and a leg over there. Only way you'll pay 100grand over here is if you get reamed at one of the academies (Pan Am, Delta Conn., etc). If you're like me and don't have the eye sight to go the military route, FBO training is the more affordable way to go.
[Edited 2004-05-28 02:26:36]