This forum thread from 2009 discusses a video featuring two members of Google's search quality team....
Reconsideration Request Tips - from Google Search Quality Team
The video states that reconsideration requests are in fact read by members of the team. It emphasizes the need for the clearest possible statement of the situation in the request, and also the need to be concise and to the point. It also suggests that many requests received assume penalties when the problems are elsewhere.
Some months back, in the Supporters section here, we looked at what one member had done (quite a bit of work, in fact) to enhance the quality of content on his site. We critiqued his request to help him make it clearer and quite a bit shorter. For those who are Supporters here, I suggest that the thread is well worth reading...
My Google Reconsideration Request: need a sharp review