I have taken the free 'Word Verification Free Blog' button from Beatrice Banks site. (Thanks, Jack, for pointing me there.) I've actually been WV free for ages now, as I found the whole thing so tedious and Francisca encouraged me to ditch it. The new WV process is even worse!
I have honestly not had a problem since. Blogger's spam filter works well to catch the adverts and the odd comment you'd rather not show can easily and quickly be deleted (and anyway WV won't stop weird or malicious comments if they're written by an individual). I have comment moderation on for comments on posts older than 7 days - but that's only so I don't miss comments, as I don't get them emailed to me.
To anyone out there thinking of ditching WV - do it! You won't look back - and the rest of us will thank you!