Pfui - 3:11 am on Dec 18, 2011 (gmt 0)
Ditto. I ignore it.
And now, from the FWIW Department...
Dunno about y'all, but we're a week and 50-plus posts into this thread and I'm no clearer on what's going on with the OP's situation than I was on Day One, just increasingly frustrated. The prob could be some small tangle, maybe even a loop, in htaccess, in a page's code, somewhere. Or in an already tangled mess of an htaccess. Regardless, it feels like we're getting nowhere.
So perhaps it's time the OP starts over at square one, with NO htaccess for five minutes? The traffic from the 'usual' bad bots getting through would be nothing compared to what the OP's reporting: "thousands that hit my site almost every second"!
-- If traffic continues at that maniacal rate with NO htaccess, I'd seriously consider pulling my own plug (/public_html~) and opening a Trouble Ticket ASAP... before my ISP pulls the plug for me.
-- And if traffic abates? I'd trash my entire htaccess and start anew, baby step-assembling its parts by hand, slowly, and only with understanding. No more copy-pasting from hither and yon.