btw, I'm actually working in nanotech at the moment.
I don't know if i agree with the PhD thing really, depends on where you do want to do. Leeds has a new nanotechnology degree, i have a friend in the department and people are being plucked straight up from there by the MoD and pharmaceuticals companies etc. Its a fairly vocational course though!
To be fair, the MOD usually want you to do a part-time research studentship on one of their projects - this is why they are so keen to get first degree graduates and build up their expertise 'in-house'. Pharmaceuticals companies and the ilk - look at all the guys in the top scientific jobs - all have PhDs - if you want to go into business then having just a degree is fine (and nanotech is no better than chemistry in that regard), but to stay in science you really need a PhD. Nanotech is a multidiscipliniary subject and personally I think you should have a good grounding in a single discipline as you are likely to make much more of a contribution than a jack of all trades. Trying to stay in science with just a first degree generally means staying in the lab which is usually poorly paid.
Aye, when you explain it like that i can't help but agree I decided against the course a while back anyway, but it was a consideration. Having said that, theres no harm in taking a course such as physics with nanotechnology. At least then you aren't specialising too much!