I have the same problem (suse 8.2, I'll use Debian in future), the error message caused by ./configure is:
*** Could not run GLIB test program, checking why...
*** The test program failed to compile or link. See the file config.log for the
*** exact error that occured. This usually means GLIB is incorrectly installed.
*** GLib 2.0 is required to build Gaim; please make sure you have the GLib
*** development headers installed. The latest version of GLib is
*** always available at http://www.gtk.org/.
Please help if you can!