Breaking News: Gaim 2.0 beta 6 comes with a plugin that facilitates offline messaging by saving all messages typed to offline users as buddy pounces (see screenshot).
This feature is very cool, in that it allows me to send to people when they go offline, and have them still recieve the message, although at a later time (thank you Sadrul Chowdhury!) I am definitely going to make use of this plugin while im-ing over a shakey connection.
Unfortunately this has some disadvantages: I also randomly go offline, much to the annoyance of my friends, who use the proprietary AOL AIM software, so they won’t benefit from this feature unless they have gaim too (of course this isnt a bad thing since it perpetuates the free software). Furthermore, if I send to an offline user, then I go offline, then they go online while I am offline, it just complicates matters. Thus I believe the full solution is to support offline messaging at the server (or proxy) level.