Wow, I just found bitlbee! Now I can finally get rid of Gaim. For those who don't know, bitlbee is a Jabber,ICQ,MSN,etc. to IRC gateway. It runs as an IRC server on localhost, maintaining a channel which all your buddies from the different IM networks just join when they come on-line. So nice! Then you can either /msg them or just talk to them in the customary IRC way ("nick: blah") from the control channel.
Oh by the way, setup is really simple, just apt-get install bitlbee, /connect localhost, and follow the instructions of the bee.