Most of us who frequent the IRC channel stay connected 24/7, but we may not be at our computers. Newcomers are sometimes frustrated when they don't get a reply right away. Consider downloading a native client like Colloquy or Textual and staying a while.
IRC server: chat.freenode.net
There's also a weekly chat on Applefritter BBS, Thursdays at 9PM EST. You can use the graphical client, or connect via Telnet.