Anything is possible - but I'll add the following from my experience (Guard fighter hire so n=1):
1) With any job, anything is possible. Somebody totally unqualified is working in an investment banking firm in NYC - their dad also probably knows the CEO. Your objective as an applicant is to make yourself as competitive as possible. Without a PPL, all else being equal, you lose to the person with the PPL. That being said, same goes for the PPL vs the CFII. But, as you know, all else is not always equal. Think about your story, what you bring to the table, what makes you unique, and make the best version of yourself. I know some folks who got picked up by heavy units with no PPL - haven't yet met anyone without any hours (I think they all were post solo), but I'm sure someone is out there. All the fighter folks I know had at least a PPL, but a lot of us didn't have more than 50/60 hours.
2) Everyone's life situation is different with it comes to affording a PPL. I gambled traded stock and worked to pay for mine (pre-COVID market). Other people are out pumping gas at the FBO. Somebody is doing the math of working a McDonalds 20 hours a week as a second job making $10/hr to make an extra $10k that year so next year they can get their PPL. If you're serious about getting your PPL, think about the solution space available to you to make it happen. But, if the price tag is still prohibitive, remember that aviation is a funny community - I know a couple people who were errand boys at a local airport and paid for gas in exchange for flight time and instruction. Their PPL cost much less than $10k.