I think I now know why Proteus over Adium. recommends
Adium is really nice but it doesn’t support ‘meta-contacts’ – a single contact with several screen names. In one case, I have 6 screen names for one contact and in Adium they appear as 6 different buddies. Which means that when he signs on or off the computer sounds like a duck on speed and my contact list turns into a christmas tree, as well as becoming considerably more cluttered.
Proteus does support meta-contacts (as does Trillian Pro on Windows), so I may give it a try – at $15 it’s not too much to pay if I decide to keep it. Still, I really want to like Adium, since it’s open source and so very cute.