It's been a few weeks since I shut off captcha on comments here, and things seem to be going OK.
I went for a week or so with comment moderation, but shut that off after a while. I have configured the comments now so that moderation is now only necessary on posts that are 3 or more days old.
For the vast majority of spam comments, the built-in filters that Blogger catches them and sends them down the hole. I haven't had to get rid of but one or two requests for help cashing a check drawn on an African bank or advertisements for dating sites that specialize in Eastern European left-handed redheads.
Thing is, I can see why everyone hates the new captcha, but to me it's not that big a deal to post a comment on a blog that still uses them. You see, my handwriting isn't much better than the font Google is using for captcha, and if I can phonetically say the 'word' that is being presented, I can usually type it in. Let's face it, if you can read the hand-written Russian tax receipt given to a Finnish truck driver by a Ukrainian border guard, you can read "thouck mrabiyn" on a computer screen.
That being said, I think I'll stay with the no-captcha policy for the time being, at least until Google notices that a lot of people have dropped that feature and corrects the issue.
What say y'all?