I think this means LJ is actually dying; pharma spam is like the ivy that eventually takes over abandoned websites. Personally, I'll be both surprised and sad if spam kills LJ, rather than either people abandoning the site because of its bad policies, or the site being restored to its former glory.
(Dreamwidth's comment notifications are pretty reliable currently, though they are blacklisted by some mail providers, notably Yahoo and SBC Global. I say this because there was a period early in Dreamwidth's history when they didn't have a mailserver, so there's a persistent rumour that you can't get comment notifications on Dreamwidth. That's definitely a killer feature! OpenID accounts can also receive comment notifications, but to do that, you have to go through the whole process to validate your OpenID account, including giving DW a verified email address. It won't happen automatically.)