The two alternatives I have found suffer from really bad bugs. They work for about an hour, and then it seems their communication with their backends just falls apart. Subway duplicates all open channels ever few hours and sometimes sporadically reloads. Alice has ridiculously long delays for delivering messages. Side-by-side with another client it can be up to 15 minutes (!) out of sync, and that will not do for an instant messaging client.
Are there any other alternatives I should take a look at? or services?
The desktop IRC clients for Linux simply does not cut it for me, and I like having a persistent connection that I can join from wherever.