Thanks for your reply!
Yes I agree with your statement that XMPP is great cause of it's portability. I've found that in most cases it solves the problems I'm having.
I'm quite surprised that Pidgin doesn't support this functionality. Maybe I have my configuration wrong, but Pidgin used to be GAIM which is one of the biggest IM clients out there. If anyone has had any success with using Pidgin and MUC, I'd love to hear how they did it!
I'll try setting up one of these other clients and see how that goes, I've used Psi before but not any of the other clients.