Have you seen these stats? I believe it. I grabbed that image on wednesday before I left for san francisco. In the week hence, that number has tripled. Of course, the presence of 'ham' at the bottom of the graph means that i have to check every single spam that comes in anyway. (my sister was ham at one point). Couple that with the
fact that my blog has stopped emailing me when people comment (the other stat missing from the graph, false negatives), and i'm really having to watch my blog like a hawk.
That said, this is the worst way to try to get people to contribute i've seen in a while. "our shit's broke, but it works better if you pay for it. no, really!" ??? the Spam/Ham graph is a far better marketing tool for akismet than a system error.
Which is not to say I don't want to contribute to Akismet. it's just that my blog isn't making any money, and there are a lot of other economic factors. Maybe if I ever see the prize money from the theme competition, I'll send it in their direction.
Also, "Because we're in the middle of a comment spam torrent" doesn't sound accurate to me. This is just now approaching the amount of email spam i get per account, and that hasn't slowed down, ever.
UPDATE: my blog just emailed me a dozen of the comments it had missed. weird. it's still not current, yet.
UPDATE 2: now it is.
UPDATE 3: it's actually a gmail issue, not at all related to wordpress.