brinked - 6:41 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)
I have used both 404 and 410 many times throughout the years. As far as having the content removed from google's index, they are both the same from my experiences. Google has even said they treat them the same. It is also listed in this google article: [support.google.com...]
I have also 410 entire sections of websites, only to return them at a later date in time, and they returned very quickly, just as quickly as the 404's did.