I also can see why people who have only an account or two and don't do a lot of IM would prefer Gaim. It's as simple to set up and use as AOL Instant Messenger used to be (*sigh*). Of the two, I had Gaim installed and running quicker. It also supports multiple services and protocols (AIM/ICQ, Gadu-Gadu, GroupWise, IRC, Jabber, MSN, Napster, SILC, and Yahoo), multiple accounts, and audio chat. In its own way, Gaim is even geekier than Trillian, because it's an open source project and has a strong Linux connection.
Qnext is still around, too, although when I tried to download a current version I found out that the product is getting what looks like a social-computing makeover. The download had been taken down to await the arrival of Qnext 3.0. This new version will continue to support multiple IM services, and audio and video chats. It also will let you consolidate IM and e-mail contacts into a single list and broadcast photos, music, and files to anyone on the list, sending both IMs and e-mails from within the Qnext interface.
Meantime, I gave AIM Today a second chance. It's no less confusing that it was last week, but I suspect the reason I didn't see my buddy list while I was on the road had something to do with the security settings on my laptop -- on my desktop, it appears, but neither IE 7 nor Firefox gives it to me on the portable. Go figure.