That's 4 megs of logging a DAY (assuming two 32 bit integers, with the associated overhead of table indexing effectively doubling that) -- and that's before taking file-system blocks into account (a read/write operation that should take just as long as just incrementing the appropriate counter). That's IOWAIT hell compared to a simple read/write, especially when it comes time to show that result. After 30 years of doing databases, the mere notion of "Just dump it to the end of a record" on something like that.... OUCH?
If performing a simple update operation on ONE record was taking any more time than flooding a log file, there was something HORRENDOUSLY wrong with how you were handling that.... especially given how badly ALL database systems slow down the more records a table has.
That I could see -- but at that point why not just open up your apache log files?
Even with wanting that information I'd probably try to index it by a mix of IP address and browser ID string, just to keep the database size down to something that isn't going to result in that pesky 99% IOWAIT...
But then that's my opinion of things like hit counters in the first place -- alongside other idiocies like google analytics; waste of code and time for something the server should already either be logging, or on the whole is a waste of time to bother keeping track of.
Of course, I'm overly paranoid about wasteful IOWAIT -- my specialty being taking sites choking out quad Xeon's and running them cleanly on Atom 330's after neutering the bloated/half-assed coding practices that seem so common these days. 99% of the time people go to throw more CPU or RAM at a problem, it's often IOWAIT that goes overlooked -- when it's the biggest bottleneck in a modern system.
Goes hand in hand with my disgust that almost 20 years ago I could have 500 people network booting off a single 386/33 running Netware 3.12 sharing a two billion record financial database slamming the server with continuous requests all day without a hitch -- while today a crappy little 2000 user/million post forum where no more than 150 of them are online at the same time can drag a Quad Core Xeon with 8 gigs of RAM to it's knees... progress... RIGHT.