I have been using AIM for quite some time now and I generally appreciate the kind of communication modes instant messaging allows. But AIM (and using it with iChat in particular) has a bunch of problems that are really annoying.
- No secure communication. Neither PGP/GPG based encryption of end-to-end communication nor (at least) SSL based encryption to the server is possible.
- The buddy list is limited to 150 users so I constantly have to kick out people to include others.
- No means to approve somebody to allow him to include yourself in his/her buddy list. You get watched by people you don‘t know or at least you don‘t know they‘re watching you.
I am very glad Apple is moving to Jabber protocols with iChat in Tiger and provides encrypted communications. Jabber solves all the problems above but I don‘t get why AOL is not doing anything about this.
So I am just complaining and as stupid as I am I keep using it for the sake of improved usability. The only IM client that is catching up with iChat is Proteus which I can only recommend, especially if you‘re using more than one account. iChat‘s sounds are still above everything else.