I don't really mind starting off small or getting a lower wage. The thing I am worried about is being stuck in a career I don't like. I think I would actually like to work in a small shop repairing PC's for people even if I don't get a mansion anytime soon. But I would prob hate taking peoples calls and answering emails at a desk.
When I worked for PC Club, it was fun. I liked all of my co-workers and my boss ("The Jim"), and I enjoyed what I did. However, there's no future in it. It's retail and there's no future in any retail position until you start getting into management (a totally different can o' worms). You won't really be stuck there exactly. The one great thing about retail jobs (whether your asking if they'd like fries with that, bagging groceries, or selling printers), you're dealing with the public. You learn people skills, and that's something that almost every job wants you to have. You also can show that you have hands-on experience doing PC work, and experience is the key. It doesn't matter that you're working with the public for a couple bucks over minimum wage; Experience can be twisted a bit.
One thing that doing the build/repair thing taught me was that I don't want to be a PC tech. I love computers, but I didn't want to work for relatively low pay in retail and fix people's machines, just so they could take it back home, click on the wrong links and fuck it up again. It cemented the fact that I wanted to work in IT, but that I wanted to do more.
After leaving PC Club, I *tried* to start my own small business fixing computers around my area. That's what really burned me out. Dealing with people can be incredibly tough. I've literally had someone tell me "You know those screws on the harddrive? Well, I think I broke the monitor." It's akin to taking your car to the shop and telling the mechanic "It's making a funny noise.". You hear shit like this all day.
For me, the low-pay, the retail factor, and the hopeless-ness of fixing computers that were destined to be fucked up again within minutes of bringing it home from the shop. I looked around at the other jobs in IT and I really just fell in love with the position of a SysAdmin or System Administrator. Wikis and Google are your friend here as I could talk for many paragraphs about the topic.
No matter what you do, try doing different things. If you want to build/fix PCs, then get a job doing it. Don't take my description of it. You might love it, you might hate it. No matter which happens, you'll narrow down a bit more what you want to do (or what you don't want to do).