I work for one of the top 5 developers on console games, as a programmer. Are there crunch times? Yes. Do you get comp time? Yes. I'm going to be taking 35 days vacation this fall. The work itself is vastly more interesting and personally rewarding (to me) than working on business intelligence software, which is probably where I'd be otherwise.
You get what you put into it, and you also get what you put up with. I don't recommend that anybody sacrifice their quality of life simply to be in games, and certainly some studios are worse than others, but in making games for 9 years, if you can put up with a some crunch every year or two, it can be a really fun job. Just put up resistance if you're being treated unfairly (80 hour work weeks? Never.) .. once you get some experience, you can move around. The entire industry is a game of musical chairs, so you should be able to find something at your 'pressure' level. Some people will put up with those insane for the privilege of working on a GTA title, but there is plenty of middle ground.
And as somebody else pointed out above, just because you like playing games (or even making them for yourself) doesn't necessarily mean you'll like making them in the AAA game space. I just wrapped up a title where the credits take about 40 minutes to watch, so there are lots of considerations in terms of how much time you're willing to put in, how much individual credit you're looking for, etc.