I realize this topic is old, but I am still having the numbers going up nothing in queue problem. I will submit this info. to WP and Askimet, but I felt the need to agree with Raincoaster.
My sister, who is new to the internet and blogs, tried to comment on one of my old posts because she was reading my whole blog, chronologically. She is very sensitive about appearing like an idiot since she is new to all this. When her comment didn't appear, she didn't tell me because she figured she was just doing something wrong.
I knew she was reading my blog and so finally, I asked her to comment. She told me that she didn't think she knew how, etc. and we figured out that she had been marked as "spam". Then, I was able to find her comment and de-spam her.
Her friends are all reading my blog now and account for many of my regular readers. If she wasn't my sister, we would not have figured this out and I would have about 10 or 12 fewer readers.
My point is that the comments do more than inspire future blogging. They encourage people to continue to read your blog and pass on your blog to others they think might be interested. I think it definitely would have been a significant impact if I lost those readers.
And really, even if you do get 1000 spam comments a day, I have skimmed through page after page in a matter of a minute or two. It's pretty easy to skim them and distinguish a real comment from spam. It doesn't take me hours and I doubt even having thousands would cause such a problem. And correct me if I am wrong, but can't you mark and hit "delete all" or is this a "new feature". I swear I have been able to do this for months.
It seems to me that this is the simple solution. Have those that want their spam automatically deleted just hit "delete all" and poof-they are gone.
I get a lot of comments from readers who have found my posts by search engines and my blog stats show that people click on links to one of my posts that is SEVERAL months old, nearly daily. Maybe actual people don't bother to read that far back on some people's blogs, but they obviously do on mine and I assume many others.
I don't like seeing those numbers going up and wondering if I am losing readers because they think I am deleting their comments. That's my big problem with it.
It is clear that Raincoaster is not the only person who has a problem with this so to suggest that we are a small vocal minority seems very arrogant and egocentric.