PPC_Chris - 2:46 pm on Jun 27, 2011 (gmt 0)
Here is an update... a few days after we saw our indexed pages drop to 8K, our indexed pages shot back up to about 30K. And now Google is removing only 100-200 pages per day.
Right now we have 3K total live pages in our site - pages that are not returning a 404/410 error. According to Google Webmaster Tools, they are crawling an average of 10K pages/day. How Google could be crawling a minimum 6K 404 pages per day yet removing only 100-200 from their index is baffling.
At this point, I am about ready to submit a sitemap that includes all of our currently indexed 404 pages.