It would be cool to get an update from Jeff to see what he's running these days. I'm sure screen is still part of the kit, but has ratpoison stood the test of time?
I also used centericq as well as IRC (via irssi, truly the IRC client of the gods). I found, however, that it was difficult to keep track of IM traffic, as it was in another window from the IRC window where i would focus most of my attention. Centericq, like many full-screen programs, didn't work well with screen's notify-on-action, as it would update itself randomly, even when nobody was talking.
The solution to my problems ended up being Bitlbee. This is a wonderful program, whose goal is simple: translate IM to IRC. It's a little more involved than centericq, as you must run it as a server. However, you can use any number of pre-setup public servers (one of which I run: irc.net). bitlbee has done a great job of matching many IRC commands to their IM equivalents. You can even send files!
So Jeff, what are you using these days?