Starting from school, your journey starts to strive for and become educated. Not only letters, numbers, syntax or symbols; complete education means learning and applying your knowledge wisely. Ph.D. is the last frontier of this tryst with your destiny named "being educated".
With time, everything same drains you and Ph.D. is one of the areas where this draining is maximum; both mentally as well as physically and in many times socially. Being social among friend circles, you become engrossed in the lab and make groupies only online. But where there is the bane; there is the boon too. Although your contribution might make a small outward dent in the known sphere of knowledge; it should give you satisfaction to be part of the circle developed over the years of human history; fortunately part of the movement that had been there since time immemorial. I believe this satisfaction is what makes you strive for the degree. A publication or more; yes that is an added advantage. At least you will have your name for ever (lest your work doesn't get retracted! :P)
When you decide to come into this field, think twice or thrice or even more. The gain is worth a life time but what you have to sacrifice and sweat for is also immense. But, the sweat and heat for 5-6 years are worth it. Do have a Ph.D. and don't listen to the demoting statements. The Himalayas rose up after crashing into the Asian Wall... Just a metaphor.
All the best!