I’ve been using the excellent terminal emulator Terminator for a long time. Terminator sports (among other things) split screen and “cluster support” (grouping of screens, making it possible to type the same thing in all terminals).
In previous versions of Ubuntu (Terminator versions prior to 0.14) Terminator would pick all settings from GNOME Terminal, including character encoding (ISO-8859-15 in my case). Apparently this is no longer the case in Ubuntu 10.04, which has Terminator 0.14.
To use another encoding than UTF-8, add the following to
encoding = ISO-8859-15
Substitute ISO-8859-15 with whatever encoding you want.
Some other nice configuration options
scrollback_lines = 10000 # Scroll back size focus = sloppy # sloppy focus, ie. the focus follows the mouse when moving the pointer to another split-screen
for more options, run