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There are a lot of small/big/huge IRC networks with a Java/Ajax web front ends that do well. Making a room private with someone else hosting the IRC server is easy. There's one that integrate with Twitter too!
I met my wife in an IRC chat room in 1998.
are there any *real* chat rooms left for serious chat?
Yep. The one I visit regularly is a well moderated, niche specific (recovery related), Java powered platform. You won't find me in too many 'community' rooms anymore, or IRC. Too many bozos on that bus already, they don't need another.