Read the latest Linux Format Magazine and I was delighted to find out that the two IRC clients I use were each awarded a 9/10 in their IRC client roundup. When I’m in KDE I use Konversation and in Gnome I use gnome-xchat (although it was vanilla xchat that got the 9/10). Both were praised for being approachable by tyros while at the same time having features for the experienced.
Getting particularly low marks was Pidgin. This makes sense since I’ve tried using IRC with these all-in-one clients such as Pidgin or Trillian and they were definitely sub-par. There are times when it works to bundle functionality and times when a dedicated program can do that one thing really, really well.