Although I noted yesterday that my own technical gaffs had erase all of our blog comments going back to September 2004, I did comb through the last database dump from early March 2005 and sifted out the legit comments for Sept 2004 – March 3, 2005, so the loss was the last month and a half.
It was fairly trivial with BBEdit to semi-manually sift out all the spam roach poop. There were a total of 1947 rows in the comment table of the database (for about 6 blogs, mostly inactive) and out of those, I deleted 1662 spammies, easily identified by their repeated patterns, url encrusted comments, and general stench. There were sequences of more than 150 in quick succession to a dormant blog (which is now fenced off).
And the captcha security code on the comment form is working like a dream, perfection, baby.