I'm gonna start off by saying I've never in my life been paid to love anything. And I'm pretty sure no one here has, either.
The second point I would like to make is that anyone saying they are programmers because they love writing code - that is very immature, I'm talking World of Warcraft / Dungeons and Dragons immature. Programming is a job, and not a hobby.
If all we had to do was go to work and write code, then I would see your point. But as you and I both know, that's a very small set of responsibilities we have. So small, the longer we do it - and I've done it 13 years - it becomes more and more negligible.
Other responsibilities include being the new guy and dealing with a bunch of dinosaurs who feel 'threatened' or that they aren't paid accordingly. Another responsibility is dealing with lying, manipulative, bureaucratic management. Another responsibility is dealing with nepotism - that glorious situation where your coworker, who is coincidentally a senior programmer's twin brother, sister, wife or cousin, can do no wrong, and when you walk in at 9:31, someone's waiting in the kitchen to give you your verbal warning.
How about the responsibility where 3 out of 4 programmers spend half the day playing basketball, or Halo in the game room, and you're the one who is making it possible for the CEO to make his next Mercedes payment - because you love writing code? How about when your boss or team leader or chief architect has been out of school for two years, strutting around the office like he's Bill Gates, giving you orders? Or how about when you see a new programmer who is very enthusiastic about his work and trying to learn, being run through the wringer, and eventually fired?
The love it or leave it Texas mentality I grew up in is way off base.
This business isn't about loving your job. It is just like any other - from mechanic to neurosurgeon - and we do what we can to support ourselves and our families. What has made it the most difficult for me over the years, are the employees who have some sort of ideology that the problem is with the people who are actually coming to work to do their job - either overlooking or simply ignoring all the other factors at play.
Don't criticize the people who are thrown into the mix with little or no guidance, because that's exactly how it works. Rarely, has anyone sat down or taken the time to explain how things work, to me. Every single time, I have to learn a new technology, language, or new apporoach to solving similar problems - completely on my own. There is always some know-it-all sitting up on their pedestal, judging people like me (and people like you) who are just trying to do the best we can.