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I've been using the X standard “misc-fixed” font in terminals for a long time. It's quite good a font: it's a bitmap font so it looks good always and on all distros, and is available on all of them (for now, until some anti-aliasing zealot decides to remove all that is not TTF). It also has rather decent unicode coverage, unlike most fonts. (XTerm can't use multiple fonts simultaneously, but all the other terminal emulators otherwise suck more than XTerm.) I'm, however, lately been getting a bit tired of it, looking for a refreshing and slightly simpler font. There just doesn't seem to be one good enough.
Terminus could otherwise be a refreshing change, but it doesn't have the size I need, and unicode support is poor. I might be able to live without the latter, or perhaps be able tolerable some other terminal emulator (as long as it doesn't use Gtk and isn't Gnome/KDE bloatware – Qt itself is ok), but the font size is a big problem. It's missing the equivalent of the “7x13” misc-fixed. The 12pt variant of terminus is a way too small, and the 14pt variant a little too big on a 17" TFT at 1280x1024.
Now that Debian has enabled the bytecode interpreter for Xft, a well-hinted TrueType font could be an option. (The autohinter is a joke if you don't want your fonts blurred and ugly.) Unfortunately, good hinting seems to be rare in the easily and freely available fonts. I've only seen decent hinting in msttcorefonts. (Not that I've spent hours looking for fonts.) But msttcorefonts provides only two monospaced fonts: Courier New, which is terrible, having huge serifs, and Andale Mono, which doesn't differ that much from misc-fixed, also doesn't seem to have the size (despite being a scalable font; 8pt has cells about the same size as as “7x13” but the characters are tiny, while 9pt has huge cells), and its bold version actually has bad hinting.
sigh. I guess I'll stick to misc-fixed… and “adobe-helvetica” for the rest when the apps don't demand TTF shit, as too many apps seem to do. Those two seem to be the only two semi-decent screen fonts on the planet. (For print there are many more decent fonts.)