The first thing akismet ever caught as "spam" for me was the third comment on http://bahumbug.wordpress.com/2006/10/23/half-open-source/ . There's nothing remotely spammish about it. So I've checked my "spam" ever since, and never seen another non-spam there.
In the past couple of days, that's got much harder, due to a huge volume of *long* spams. So how about a couple of tweaks to the interface:
- Reduce the font size, to improve use of screen space. A glance will pick out a non-spam, and noone wants to read spam in detail.
- Truncate display of spam messages after, say, 200 characters.
That'll make it much easier to review at-a-glance.