I hand it out to all my friends and pretty much anyone who /msgs me.
I have almost trained my friends to the point that they will not forward crap indiscriminately. I have had to abandon one of my favourite email addresses do to an incident similar to what you say, but almost everyone thesedays knows about posting mail where spammers can get to it.
What really bemuses me is that I use this address to post to my local Linux user group (which gets web archived) and I still don't get spam. They must use some pretty heavy-duty anti-spam software.
I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.