- For losing connection, something you may need to live with or switch to JiveTalk which seems more reliable at keeping a connection and reconnecting. Try changing connection type to "TCP/IP" instead of "BIS", another connection type may be more reliable.
- You can turn off those conacts online/offline notifications. Turn off "Online alerts for all contacts" in the Notifications area.
- You can make new conversations pop up by going into foreground, this is a pretty noticeable notification. Configure the "When IM arrives" in the Settings area.
- You can assign a hotkey to close or clear conversations, just enable keypress shortcuts and then assign a keypress, such as ALT+Backspace or RightShift+Enter,etc.
- There's a hotkey for minimizing application.
Also you're talking about forum administrator -- volunteer moderators don't have the power to modify the search system. But you're right, the indexing doesn't work on the "+"
Currently, I am a registered user of both IM+ and BeeJive, and they have leapfrogged each other this year, so might be worth having both, as one can be the backup for the other. For now, BeeJive gets my vote at the moment (Nov 2007) -- see my comparision
. Both are installed simultaneously on my BlackBerry, and I can run one or the other, or both at the same time (logged onto different networks), although that's not necessary as BeeJive allows me to have multiple concurrent logins on one network by itself...