tangor - 5:20 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)
But, yes, I sympathize with your frustration and I do remember names of my sites. But since I also want to remember the names of my children, I cannot claim that I review every single post being made. And, as you correctly point out, automation often fails.
I was about to respond with something clever and sarcastic until that third sentence. We are on the same page. I suppose it is a matter of scale. My forums are in the thousand(s) posts per month. If it got to thousand(s) per day it would be beyond my personal abilities. I flag for moderation keywords... and add to that list almost on a daily basis for the general (open) areas. My password/password (secure areas) are not accessible to search engines and I have less concern there, but wield the "club" more directly since those who are in that area should know better.
Spam is a constant problem, but it can be managed. Keep the bots out, make it difficult for automation to insert (captacha, double opt in, etc.).
Links in forums are what makes it feel alive to the users and visitors. Figure out a way to control that with sanitizing methods (keywords, known bad urls), banning known bad neighborhood IPs and ... for me this has been the best way ... and looking at rapidity and frequency of posting.
I've never experienced the "parasitic hosting lite" suggested. I just don't like spam in my forums and deal with it from that point of view.