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For me irssi and Gaim are not quite the same things. I use gaim for desktop messengers like Yahoo, Google/Jabber and MSN. I use irssi for IRC, I'm an irc fanatic and have tried several of them...I can't help to like this geeky looking terminal thing which is half transparent and reflects your desktop
Except Jabber support in Gaim is not good (at all, need major redesign). You need another client to set up your Jabber account properly. No, it doesn't do half the stuff that a proper Jabber client should do.
I do all IM, and more, through Jabber (like MSN, ICQ, IRC etc), which works great. No need to remember different passwords and/or clients. This set up of Jabber accounts isn't possible to do in Gaim. Therefor Gaim is not on my list of useful IM-clients.
i choose gaim simply because i use to for everything except MSN, i use kmess for msn. kmess does what its meant to and nothing else. so thats why i choose gaim. but i also use amsn.. depending on my mood. but between gaim, amsn and kmess i can chat on anything and feel comfortable