Welcome to drirc!
DrIRC is an open source IRC client that (as planned for the beta and stable versions) can (or will be able to) use XML plugins to create "aliases" for your IRC. Of course, there are other choices out there, but this is why we made it open source, so there's no worry about how DrIRC will affect the other IRC clients. You don't have to use DrIRC, no! You can use anything you like. Some alternatives include mIRC, XChat (also open source), and HydraIRC. But DrIRC is open source so everyone can pitch in and improve its source code. In other words:
Welcome to the ultimate IRC experience.