some cost money but the ones you pay for are more likely to serve you well.

Huh? I know of only 2 paid IRCds, ConferenceRoom and Exchange Chat (ircx).
You don't really need paid IRCd to run a (probably small) network, none of the big networks use it, and they can hold thousands of users...
Personally, i think free IRCds, used by large networks, are well coded and even better tested. I also put more trust to them, as i know the coders spent more time to secure them and to optimaze the code, rather than to develop so many useless features.
Just my opinion wink