Comments are getting a welcome flurry of activity in WordPress 4.3 and 4.4 development. Rachel Baker is the component lead, and WordPress 4.4 release lead Scott Taylor has gravitated toward comments as his pet project this release (bless his soul).
One of the things he's working on he's calling Comments redux, which implements Backbone-based moderation for comments. He posted a sample video of using the Heartbleed API to load in new comments for moderation, for example. Who knows if anything or what of it will actually go into 4.4, but it's going to be fun to watch.
Jeff Chandler has been on a tear about comments and the lack of moderation capabilities since he implemented a new comment policy on WP Tavern. He's just the latest to figure out just how neglected WordPress comments have been over the last several years.
That said, there are good people working on comments now, and that's how open source works. And there have been some small wins in recent releases; for example, a number of my own wishes for comments have been implemented.
I think it'd be really fun if we just threw caution to the wind and mapped out a world where comment management is perfect, and see how close we could get without completely busting back compat.
If you want to follow along with comment developments, you can check out the component on Trac.