Most pilots who want to be airline pilots do not aspire to be "just" regional pilots. I work for Air Wisconsin, a "regional" airline", but I hope oneday to work for a "legacy" carrier. I used to work for SWISS International, but due to layoffs there, I have returned to the US to work.
Anyway, with regards to your question, the pay at a regional is not great, but with time at the airline it becomes better and better, especially at some of the more reputable airlines.
More important than pay, though, is lifestyle. At least it is to me. You mention that you want to be at home enough and have a family. This is a very important thing to you and you will want to make your choices accordingly. I am in hotels about 8-12 nights per month. But I also have a decent number of days off.
One issue to be aware of is that it is very often not possible to live where you work. I work in Washington Dulles, but I would like to live in Minneapolis. This makes for a commute of several hours.
The career is a wonderful career with many rewards. But as you already see, it is not perfect. Like any career, it has its plusses and minuses. I do not like living in a hotel, but the view from the "front office" makes it worth it, to me at least.
Every pilot has their own personal reasons for wanting to fly. Be aware that the industry is going through a period of great turmoil and that right now it is tough. But it is also a cyclical (sp) industry and by the time you are ready it may well be great. Nobody knows. I hope to work at United or AA
someday and fly 777s! But to be honest, right now there is ZERO chance of that happening in the next few years.
Get your licenses, fly safely and enjoy your flying. Those are the most important pieces of advice I can give.