Still beats nine-to-fives, SlamClick.
For me, two years af advanced maths to prepare the competitive examination for the Air academy, then three and half years for the licence. Joined an airline and was line-qualified six months later. Never looked back since.
Nowadays, the two first years still help and youngsters either join the air academy or one opf the cadet pilots schemes. Eighteen to twenty four months later, the join an airline and are released on the line after six months. Total time : Two to two-and half years, plus holidays and waiting for trainer's availabilities.
Please note thatif the trend continues, these youngsters should qualify for a left-hand seat after some seven years.
Of course I am talking about situations outside the US.