I never thought I'd say this, but I love the folks at AOL. After seeing my AIM problems here on Gizmodo, they were able to reinstate my old AIM account, change my password, and send me on my merry way. Thanks to Andrew and his excellent team.
UPDATE - Not so fast, Batman. Since AOL fixed me up, I've been getting lots of mail re: disgruntled AIM users. I don't know what to tell you aside that AIM needs a "help line." I know it's expensive and I know it's silly, but folks depend on this service and the idea that a screen name and contacts can be lost to the gnashing teeth of a monthly purge and archive batch job for no good reason is pretty creepy. I can't blame Andrew and his team—and I don't have their contact info, BTW—but I think some sort of help line is in order on the AIM page. Guys? A bone here?