Commenting Issues: A Call for Help

Alright, I need help from my fellow Blogger users here. I used to have my comments set up so potential commenter-leavers ran into the captcha thingy. Which was great for spam-catching, but not so good considering that I had more than one follower tell me that they didn't/couldn't leave comments specifically because the captchas were damn near impossible to read.

So, I switched over to manually approving every comment. Which is completely fine, but I've now been receiving an ABSURD amount of spam comments that I need to flag as such. I'm talking anywhere from 2 to a dozen daily. They are all the same - from "annonymous" and starting off with a paragraph about how great my blog is, followed by "visit my website: {insert spammy site here}"

It's just frustrating - I certainly don't mind fielding comments from my actual readers, but I'm getting quite tired of my email pinging all the time with fake comments.

Any thoughts or suggestions from you all? The main reason I blog is for reader conversation, so it's a bit sad that it seems I can either spend all day flagging spam comments or make it impossible for my readers to comment in the first place.

Thoughts/suggestions/ideas? I definitely want to make it friendly for everyone, not just Google/Blogger users... I'm at a loss!