I'm in a similar situation. Left school early because I ran out of money and started working. Did several (10) years hard time as an SA (actually dug it, but quite tired of it now) and slowly moved into writing more and more code. I'm now writing software for a living. It's quite nice. However, when I was job hunting after getting laid off it was fairly apparent that not having a degree (and not currently working on one) was quite detrimental.
Luckily I have a job that I love. I have a strong desire to make sure that I'm in as good of a position as I can be to always have jobs that I love. (for the most part I have, I consider myself extremely fortunate) As a result of my recent experiance job hunting (and much prodding and poking from my fiance) I am taking classes again.
After much thought about work and life schedules I realized that spending 3 nights a week in class would not be practical. So I started taking classes at Uo Phoenix. The classes are reasonably challenging (have not taken any techincal classes yet) and the format is fantastic. I'm fully aware that a deg. from UoP is not going to carry nearly as much weight as a deg. from a more traditional school but I figured that with my experience would get me past a lot of the roadblocks.
The amount of work needed for the classes is by no means less than the amount of work needed for "traditional" schools. You just get to do it when you have time to. The classes are condensed into 6 weeks and you will cover the same amount of material that would be covered in a normal 16 week semester. I would work an average of 4 to 5 hours a night 4 nights a week on the class I was taking. I expect that will change depending on the class but that's been my experience with the 3 classes I've taken so far.my .02