While I usually agree that users are idiots and we know better than they do, I must recognize that the developers of the instant messaging program formerly known as GAIM are being totally wrong in their crusade against protocol icons.
Hello? If I wanted a simple-minded client I would install gossip. When many people in a few days take the time to find and reply to a closed bug report then maybe they have good reasons to want a feature. And please refrain from serving us bullshit like "a preference would add too much complexity to the code", some of us actually know about pointers and switch statements. (Advanced preferences is something which the gajim developers got right. It's too bad that the Jabber transports lack many protocol features, are resource hungry, highly unstable and generally crappy.)
One of the reasons for requiring native protocol icons is that each protocol has subtly different presence values, whose exact semantics are now lost. And in some situations the protocol used by your contacts has a semantic value in itself. Yes: I know that you already replied to these arguments, but you are still wrong.