2L at Yale who made this decision a couple years ago. I honestly think most people would be crazy to turn down Yale for Columbia.
Most people change careers multiple times. Yale will help you over Columbia for many of them.
If you go into big law and make partner, the difference in compensation is negligible.
If you go into big law and leave after 3-5 years (which I think is by far your most likely eventuality from both schools), you will have made out better in the short term from CLS, but your exit firm options will not be as good I think (harder to transition to government, academic, in-house jobs). Actually, I'm not sure this is true. From Yale is easy to get a V3 job (or a Susman, etc) where the bonuses are higher. Most people turn such jobs down. At the firm I'm working at this coming summer, which is good but doesn't pay above market or have wicked bonuses, at least two people turned down Wachtell. If all you care about is money, you can at least partially make up for the extra money you spent on Yale by taking a firm job with bigger bonuses.
If you our on financial aid at all (that is, unless you have a huge trust fund ... even if you have rich parents this is true, as long as you don't have 100 grand in your name), then if you decide to work a public interest job or ANY job paying less than 60K, then Yale makes sense financially. Not only will Yale pay your law school loans, they will also pay any need-based UNDERGRADUATE loans!
In addition, the difference in debt is probably not as much as you might imagine for most people (it's definitely not the 150K sticker price of the Hamilton). Most people come out of Yale ~100K in debt. At the Columbia with the Hamilton, you will still have to pay to live in NYC, which for many people will mean spending 50K. And that 50K in debt (plus any loans you have from undergrad) will not be covered by the sort of generous loan forgiveness program as at Yale.
And that's just the financial side. Don't forget that CLS is sort of miserable. People work there asses off. Sure, you are likely to get a good firm job if you work reasonably hard at CLS. But they give out firm jobs like candy at YLS. You can get all P's and still get a V10 firm job.
And our first semester has no grades at all, and people spend most of the time socializing. It's pretty awesome.
Also, you can do well here even if you would perhaps not do so great at CLS. Exhibit A: me. I'm not sure that I'm very good at issue spotting (only really taken one for a grade yet, but would have been forced to have taken at least 10 at CLS, I think). But that doesn't really matter here so much. I take classes that interest me, write papers, etc. and it's fine.
Making on to law review is not as competitive at Yale, and you can be on as many secondary journals as you want in addition to or instead of law review. l.
Yale is not all sunshine and roses. But if all you want to do is make a ton of money, it absolutely can be. Many people (myself included) put inordinate amount of pressure on themselves 2L year because they want to clerk for fancy judges, become professors, or secure some government post. Financially, by the sort of brute economic logic that most people are displaying in this thread, these choices are as stupid as taking YLS over the Hamilton. But these are the only things that are still hard from YLS. The vast, vast majority can walk into an awesome firm job here. But it's not the same with clerkships. So people still find a way to stress and push themselves to the limit. But it's much easier to clerk from here than from anywhere else.
One final thought ... if you really care only about money, here is what I suggest: come to Yale, but 1) RA for the undergrads for free housing, 2) TA undergrad classes every semester, earning thousands each time, with all the extra time you will have because you are at YLS and not CLS, or 3) work full time in NYC, D.C. or elsewhere (I have plenty of friends doing this) while at YLS. These really are real options here, and can offset your Hamilton sacrifice. Especially TAing gigs are super easy to get at YLS (I got one this semester but decided my time was better spent doing mindless unpaid journal work).