Short answer: No, not in the short-term. Things may improve as more moderators come on board, but currently the number of auto-flagged "More than 20 comments posted...." is overwhelming, and blocks any real issues being identified easily.
Slightly longer answer: Comments should never be long chains of back and forth discussing an issue. This is not an appropriate use of comments
When should I comment?
You should submit a comment if you want to:
- Request clarification from the author;
- Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
- Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).
When a comment threads begins to get large, the system auto-flags it. This is raising in the region of 20-30 flags a day which, quite frankly, I do not have the time to read through individually to determine the merit of each comment individually. The system gives me the option to deal with it in a few clicks and that's what I do.
In answer to your assertion that
comments get wiped out en masse
This is simply not true, they get moved to chat which is a more appropriate place to have a discussion about a question or answer.
I'm sorry if this seems heavy handed, but there's simply not enough hours in the day to deal with the mostly political/ideological squabbling that goes on in a huge number of questions.