I hate having more that one chat/IM/IRC client, but also not a fan of how the IM clients (Pidgin / Empathy) do IRC.So I use bitlbee to connect to my IM services and forward all my IM accounts straight through to my IRC client. Bitlbee can make each IM account look like a IRC room, and the userlist is all your IM contacts.

Bitlbee is in the Fedora repos, but i always forget how to set it up when setting up a new install, so i wrote this Q&A on Ask Fedora for my future self. Enjoy!