Yeah, spam is a huge problem. There is software that automates this process (even solves captchas). The solution available for Xenforo is simple and has worked amazingly for me on my forums (including pmbug.com) for years now. I don't know if anything similar is available for SMF though. Understood. I didn't use a throwaway address and in fact got an email from your forum saying my account had been approved (prior to trying to log in and being told it was not approved).