What is reasonable pay?
Many regional pilots in the US make less money than someone with a $12 per hour job at Walmart.
For anyone, doing a job for one price for years, and then getting a pay cut - hurts. The hardest thing to do is to downsize after a pay cut. The level of pay doesn't matter. It hurts for anyone.
Another point - no matter how much you love the job, over time it becomes just a job. The actual primary activity might remain near as much joy as it did when the person started - but the extra paperwork, management supervision, regulations, etc - can make even a dream job - not much fun anymore.
The flying profession has changed tremendously over the past 40-50 years. The commercial pilot's job today doesn't even resemble the pilot's job back in the 50s and 60s and 70s for more than 15-20 minutes of a flight.
Pilots back then did a lot of hand flying, they did real navigation, their systems knowledge and understanding of the aircraft and how it worked had to be many levels higher than today's pilots. Engine management was something that Flight Sim doesn't even begin to approach in realism.
The old saying is that to be a Flight Engineer on a B727, you had to be able to take the aircraft apart and rebuild it. The FE was a pilot back then. The career track was FE, Right Seat, Left Seat.
@ PawPaw's house - near KADS, Addison, Texas, USA