Outsourcing moderation?

Am I the only one to feel there’s something inherently wrong with outsourcing the moderation of blog comments or forum posts? Yes it’s difficult from a resource planning perspective, but can you really get a genuine feel for the readers’ responses from an external agent’s written report after the event?
Granted, it can be a pain to filter out the spam and abuse; it’s a mechanical job requiring only rare use of intelligent human discretion. But the other part, the ‘ding!’ when you receive an insightful comment on something you’ve just thrown out there, is one of the more motivating moments in managing a blog. It seems odd to delegate that away to someone else… especially when personal passion, from writer to reader and back, is inherent to the very notion of social media.