Edited and Updated....
I've heard back from a couple of you that have had problems with spam once turning off word verification. I am really sorry that has happened to you!
So how about this? Can we place the word verification box directly under the comment box so that it can be filled out at the same time as the comments?
I think the frustration with word verification comes when the comment is entered and you think you've left a comment only to find that you now have to leave a verification word - sometimes you've already moved on before you realize this and your comment is not saved- all that comment love doesn't show up. :(
That being said- I totally understand that this whole word verification thing is there to prevent spam so have a go without it- see what you think, but if you get spam, then by all means, turn it back on! :)