Ahh thanks Syd! I'm not missing much in terms of the linux client but the chat component would be nice in case I ever need an op.
Adam I do take your point and I suspect part of the issues I'm having with venti are due to the (driverless) x-fi card which is sitting on my system at the moment and confusing the hell out of alsa (I see you've found my solution in another thread). However native apps > fake windows.
Is their an irc channel behind the cogs messaging or is it a proprietry protocol? Maybe GA could release enough info for some bright spark to write a GAIM plugin?