Hold on - WHY do you need a CS degree to work as a programmer? Apparently something like 15% of people working at Google nowadays don't have bachelors degrees.
If you already know how to code, and you are a self-learner, you are 80% of the way there. Move out to Silicon Valley, start combing through craigslist, and call up companies looking for junior roles (speak with a person, don't just email them a resume). If you get past a phone screen and get to an in-person interview, right there you have at least a 25% shot of getting the job. One, three, five or six interviews later... you will be hired an on your way... figure on up to two or three months.
If you want to make life easier for yourself, hook up with a few tech recruiters. They will line up interviews for you all day long. Just put "developer" somewhere on your LinkedIn profile and they will start to call you.
Stop philosophizing and just move to the center of the action and start acting. It's not as hard as you think.