I read most of this so I think you didn't mention this, but you can preview your html by doing the following. Open notepad and paste your html. File=> Save As. Where it says file type ".txt," change it to "all files." Then enter a name and end it with .html. After that, you can open the file in your web browser and it will translate the html you do to the proper formatting.
I find this method good if you like to visualize what you do, instead of coding and proofreading that.
[21:11] <&Oglemi> opera da best
[21:12] <%Birkal> I love opera
[21:12] <%Birkal> our college put on cosi last year; it was great
[21:12] <%Birkal> OH MY GOODNESS
[21:12] <%Birkal> THIS CONVERSATION IS ABOUT WEB BROWSERS
[21:12] <%Birkal> =X