While approving EVERY post is not a viable option I fail to see how making newb's links and attachments subject to scrutiny could hurt the Mods or the site. When I first started here you had to have a specific number of posts BEFORE you could even post a link let alone add attachments (sadly I don't remember the specifics) and even then you had to earn more attachment space if you ran out of the very limited amount allowed. In any case it worked pretty damned well. I fail to see why re-implementing these old methods and adding the option that a newb's link or attachment need be approved by a mod or blocked would be such a big issue.
While approving every single post is always an option, I'd say it makes forums like these impossible to run. Nobody wants to have to do it.
Spam has been a problem since we launched the forums back in 2002. It's not going away. I think it's fantastic that people like C1ay and CraigD take upon them to keep the site as clean as possible.
Something lalong the lines of: the newb makes their post count and gains link and attachment privileges but then must earn unsupervised privileges. Seems to me one of you geeks aught to be able to sort out some code that blocks links and attachments for a given post count, but posts the text immediately (as it seems to do now) minus links and attachments ( leaving some sort of "pending approval" message in place) and notifies the mods that the attachment or link needs approval. The mod checks it out votes yay or nay. Yay they click and it goes to it's post. Nay it get's flushed and the user gets a stern warning. With repeat offences the user gets flushed.
I really don't think spammers would consider it worth the effort to first make like a 25 post count and then another however many supervised posts just to get the opportunity to spam (ESPECIALLY if it were SPELLED OUT CLEARLY in the sign up page that all new members will have to follow this route). And with only poster's with less than the required post count affected I really don't think it would up the load on the mods...In fact I would think their work load would go down seeing as the chase should likely be nearly eliminated and by catching the spam before it hits the boards replying to complaints and threads like this would not eat up their time.
Will it reduce new members numbers yes, but then those that take issue with it are likely those that will spam. I'd also expect that long time members might actually come back to post and new members would appreciate the lack of garbage filling the threads enough to stay longer than a dozen posts or so.