Yes, we hate Captcha too. We have disabled it and moved to email address authentication. The pre-Captcha system had done a good job in cutting down on spam, but we'll see how email authentication does. If the spam returns, we will have to consider alternative solutions. You can, by the way, avoid authenticating if you sign in via Typepad, Facebook, etc..
Please let one of us know by email if you have problems.
The CP bloggers