This timeless debate never gets old. I have friends that have attacked the life thing from all angles, and for many different reasons.
It seems like most people fall (generally) into one of three distinct categories:
1) Live to work: make yourself the most successful person in your field that you can be (often in a lucrative field for these folks), pursue promotion and money at the expense of everything else, and buy a gigantic mansion you never actually see.
2) Live to play: abandon any idea of being a successful employee, pursue your hobbies at the expense of having a house, possessions, a wife/husband, or any stability. Live for the moment, and don't worry about retirement, savings, or a backup plan.
3) Balance your life: find a way to enjoy many of the thing that you want in life, but recognize that you need to go to work and earn money if you want to be able to enjoy a full and balanced life. Have a home, but not a mansion, perhaps get married, live somewhere you like, do the things you like in your spare time. Don't dedicate yourself to your work to the point that you give up what you love, and don't dedicate yourself to your hobbies to the point that you lose your livelihood.
I try to live with a sense of balance. Life doesn't always feel perfectly balanced, but I do think I often get to enjoy the best of both worlds. It's certainly true that I have to give up on some mountaineering/adventuring goals for the sake of job stability, but it is also true that I know where I'm going to sleep at night, I know that I can keep my cars running, keep food on the table, and won't be destitute if I ever have to miss a paycheck. I also have a viable plan for retirement, so I don't have to worry about working until I'm 70 years old (I'm on a plan to be out of the work world comfortably by age 55). Sometimes achieving balance means having a bit of foresight. There have been periods in my professional career where I've had more time available, and there have been times when I've had to buckle down at work to ensure that I'd be in a better place at a later point in my career. I won't ever get rich doing what I do, but I have enough money to support my lifestyle, and I have 8 weeks of vacation per year, and three days off per week... things could be so much worse.