What are you talking about? My Jabber server has never crashed or needed to be restarted for any reason. I don't recall reports of instability of the server from anyone else on the jadmin mailing list, either.
Moreover, Psi (psi.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net]) is a perfectly usable (just like ICQ) and cross-platform client. If GNOME is your style, there's Gabber.