I've looked down that path recently, only as far as CCNP/CCSP not to the CCIE level. What I found is that CCSP have a higher earning potential, but CCNP's have a broader appeal... That is to say you can make more as a CCSP, but have access to more job types, and specific jobs with a CCNP.
I'm fairly new to the networking community.. So if anyone wants to comment I'm intrested to know if my findings are in line with what everyone else feels.
Sounds about right, however its also worth pointing out here that you also do need to be in a position to get the real hands on experience aswell. What job are you currently doing and does it give scope in either of them routes ?
I've been wondering this, as well. I am leaning toward going the security route because lately, the recruiters I am dealing with seem to have a lot of firewall related jobs that they are unable to fill.
I guess there will always be a niche for experienced and qualified security experts, thus the potential for more money. But I think I'll be corny and recommend that you should choose whichever path you find more interesting. For me I much prefer hands on routing and design over security.