Duncan posted about NETSCAN today; as it turns out, I was playing with it today, too. 

Microsoft Research is a cool place... and if you had any doubt, you only need to look at some of their publicly exposed data, such as the NETSCAN system. I pulled a description of the system from their site...
The Netscan System provides detailed reports on the activity of Usenet newsgroups, the authors who participate in them, and the conversation threads that emerge from their activity. Using the Netscan tool users can get reports about any newsgroup for any day, week, month, quarter, or year, since September 1999.
 
This link will launch NETSCAN with a search for all groups containing "sharepoint"; from there you can drill down into any of the SharePoint newsgroups.  (Looking at the list, it makes me wonder why some of the newsgroups exist, since there are no (or incredibly few) responses in them.  I guess they've been replaced with new ones.)  As in Duncan's C# post, you can see that in microsoft.public.sharepoint.portalserver, the top two responders in the month of November are MVPs James Edelen and Mike Walsh (2nd profile).  Go MVPs!   Check it out, but wait till you have some time, it can really suck you in!