What you used to do for fonts was:
Make (or, if you are a philistine, "get") a font.
Run mkfontdir to generate a font index file in the same directory as that font
Run xset q to see what the current known font directories are
Maybe run xset fp to clear out the current set to the default one
Run xset +fp `pwd` to add the current directory.
Type some -cbp-codon-medium-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* garbage into your font-using program to specify the font.
Now what you do is:
Put the font file in ~/.fonts
Tell emacs (set-frame-font "Austin 12")
And it just fucking works. It's great.
Not that I necessarily want to code in a non-fixwidth-font, but still.