I took Paxil for about 2.5 - 3 years and then successfully came off of it. I know that is not as long as you have been on it, but it's still an extended period of time. I wanted to come off of it and I did so with the help of my doctor. I weaned off of it, decreasing by 10 mg every 2 -3 weeks and then by taking doses every other day instead of every day for the last 3 weeks. I definitely did feel some effects of coming off of it, but they were by no means horrible. I think the worst part of it was the "brain shocks", or "brain zaps" as some people call them, which is that feeling of an electric shock going through your head every one in a while. It was unsettling but not really painful, and since my doctor warned me about them I didn't freak out about them. Other than that I would get some headaches, loss of appetite, and I had a bit of insomnia for a few weeks. Once I was completely off the medication for a week or two I no longer felt any "withdrawal" effects. My Dad and sister were also on Paxil for extended periods of time and have both successfully stopped taking it.
I think it can be done, and perhaps the horror stories you have read have been about people trying to stop cold turkey or without the help of their doctor. You just need to discuss with your doctor and be patient when weaning off of it. Good luck!