patc - 6:13 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Of course, we could now ask - why did it take a whole month to generate this response? Presumably such responses could be autogenerated instantly (and scalably) by checking for a manual-penalty flag in processing incoming reconsideration requests.
Let me clarify - I submitted my 6th request before I'd received a reply to my 5th (but after several weeks). However, the reply to the 5th (the standard "We've processed your request") occured the day after I submitted the 6th, so I naturally assumed that was an overlap.
The new reply came 5 days after my 6th submission, so was quicker, but still may have required a human to push a button it seems.
Even with worldwide Panda on the loose, it has made no difference to this site, still in the duldrums. I'd really like to see a way you can request reconsideration in the instance of something you did not do - i.e. in my case spammy links - this new canned response implies there is no point in using reconsideration requests in these instances, but the official Google Webmaster Forum (and a different canned response from them about unnatural links) suggests you do exactly that. So it's a bit unclear to me what I can do now, if anything. And it, as ever, feels very unfair.