I was thinking more a long the lines of possibly integrating one on site.
For example, www.purplesurge.com is a gaming site, and while you can connect to their IRC Channel via an IRC Client, they also have a Java-enabled IRC Client that allows users to connect with little to no hassle.
I would be up for a place that we could hang, answer questions and perhaps even to get to know some of you more frequents (pun not intended ) more personally.
Like I said there is a chatbox but you need a certain number of posts to see it. Keep up the good fight and keep asking for it - quark might add another channel that allows newer users access. If you just want an IRC channel go for it - make one and advertise it here. I'd probably stop in every now and then.
While I'm here I might as well move this to the Forum Feedback section...
I still don't see why it would be so bad to have different channels - we could have the chatbox as it is currently on a "TS contributor" channel and then another channel that you need like ... 10 posts to gain access to. I wouldn't want to have it be completely open because that would make it too easy for spammers but I still wouldn't mind having one that's easier to access.
It should be entirely feasible. It seems quark disabled a bunch of the functionality and I think he would just need to enable some things. If you research about the chatbox implementation it's definitely possible and notice in your general settings: http://www.talkstats.com/profile.php?do=editoptions there is an option to set your default channel.