Currently I'm a "desktop engineer" which if you're not familiar with large deployments, imaging, packaging, lots of vb/batch scripting, sounds like you plug in mice and keyboards... It's not, it's really a mix between programming and Network admin, really complicated stuff. We basically run the AD and Group policy for 2500 users, and end up doing a lot of management of programs, deploying them. BUT... if you try to explain what you do to a standard MS network admin, they assume you know jack, and plug in desktops. There's this whole "I'm better than you" attitude which pisses me off. That's mostly my motivation (I was a MS Network admin for a number of years). Also I'm just generally curious, and networking keeps me from being able to put together these really cool VM environments. Also I love linux, and have been working on that on the side for many many years, so it ends up being a "I wanna know everything" type attitude, and it's frustrating when you're trying to build out a cool new linux server and the port forwarding, DMZ, switching etc... gets in the way. So I like networking, to the end that it lets me put together these cool environments. Trying to do cool stuff, home servers, web servers etc... really motivates. I'll probably never use the CCNP Route, but I'm dedicated to finishing my CCNP, then circle back on security, and maybe voice. I want to be able to run my own shop someday, and you need the high level networking to pull that off successfully.
I see people who have jumped in salary quickly, I did the same thing, 4 years ago I was making half of what I make now, I'm noticing that it starts to level off, as your wits only get you so far, then you need deep technical skills and/or management skills to move up past that. So I want to get my technical skills before moving into middle management