Perhaps getting a little off topic, but to elaborate on a theme that others here have alluded to, Gibson instruments are very expensive. I recently bought a used Les Paul Studio. The new, current version of it would go for $1500, I think. There are two problems with that $1500- 1) the cosmetic look of the guitar (the binding and the overall finish) announce to the world that it is some kind of budget, corner cut version of the real thing. 2) At that price point, you could get a fender American professional, which is basically they're flagship model. Moreover, you could get a MIM standard, that won't be lacking details that visibly tell either you the owner, or the outside world, hey, budget version over here. Point is, with the price points gibson is at right now, its hard to sell a lot of new guitars. FWIW, my budget looking les paul makes all the sounds I expect a Les Paul to make.