Thank you so much to everyone who joined in with the Blog Candy, and offered their views. If you're considering the issues for yourself, you may wish to have a read through the comments to see how people have responded.
There were two people whose comments were inappropriate to publish (I mean that they were out of context, not that they were rude, or anything), but two negatives out of 137 is a pretty clear indicator of how people feel on this topic. (One person in the draw commented on the wrong post, but I included her.)
One of the issues that came to light through someone's comment is that apparently the Captcha letters can't be read by the screen scanners used by visually-impaired people, which significantly hinders their ability to participate fully in the blogging community. Isn't that a good enough reason by itself to give a switch to comment moderation a try?
How I chose a Winner
I spent the last few days going to every blog, and saying hi, made a list as I went of how many entries each person was entitled to, based on the rules I stated at the outset. Then I made a spreadsheet with all the entries on. The total came to 412.
I then used a random number generator at Random.org to pick 11 numbers.
Yes, there was originally only going to be a single prize, but as there was such a wonderful response, I am going out tomorrow to buy some little token prizes for another ten people who left comments. I was thinking perhaps little packs of Studio G stamps (if I can find them), or something of equivalent value.
These are the numbers and I've added the names of the winners:
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
217 ~ Suzanne (wins main prize)
264 ~ Allison
185 ~ Kitty Kats Krafts (Sam)
11 ~ Lori Barnett
299 ~ Shirley
165 ~ Tip Top
252 ~ Sammi
357 ~ Tegan
30 ~ Ultramum
77 ~ Roxy
321 ~ ink'n'rubba
Timestamp: 2008-09-15 18:11:26 UTC
Please would the winners email me with their addresses, and I will send your prize in the next few days. :o)