The Epiphone quality is identical to Gibson in terms of body & neck construction. For a while, I knew a guy who worked as a setup tech for Gibson. He said the body & necks found on Gibsons & Epi in the last 10 years of production are IDENTICAL. The only difference is Epiphones have cheaper electronics & photoflames finishes, plus they cost less since they are made overseas.
You could buy an Epi & just slap your choice of pups in there. BOOM! Instant Les Paul. Personally, I don't care if the top is photoflame or real wood. It's all for looks anyway. The main reason you should love a guitar is for the tone & the feel. An Epi will deliver that at a fraction of the cost.
My friend has 4 Epi Les Paul Customs (all loaded with EMG Zakk Wylde set). Compared to the Gibson Zakk Wylde Les Paul I tried, my friend's Epis play just as good. Let's do the math...
$3600 for the Zakk Wylde Sig model
$600 for an Epi Les Paul Custom (that's SIX of these for the cost of ONE)
Given the info above, it's a no brainer.