Several time ago I got addicted on Plurk with IM (firstname.lastname@example.org via gtalk). But I think it is not complete when the Emotes appear as text only. Finally I decide to build plurk emotes on Adium IM (MacOS X), and shortly thereafter I also fix emotes Y!M for this IM software.
After they finished, it was not too difficult to convert it for Pidgin in Linux so package was finally completed and both are available and you can get it :
On Slackware 13 you can customize the configuration file if you have a multiple protocol and synced them. Emotes for Adium (Mac OS X) is my favorite because we can use it on Drupal as "smileys pack emoticons" when making a pages or blogs.