Re: Gassing for Les Paul (advice needed)
Well, I might as well chime in - Dino may well be right - you cannot get much more polar apart in solidbodies than an RG1570 and a Les Paul, and they have a radically different feel in every way, from scale length to the lack of cutaways on the Les Paul making it sit completely differently on you to the RG, so, play one for ages before you buy, just to make sure that it is for you.
Here would be a few simple suggestions:
1) Don't buy an Epiphone, they are solid poo, and you will come to fully realise this when you decide to upgrade to a Gibson and discover that the resale value of the Epi is zero due to market flooding and very poor reputation
2) Gibsons have a bone nut, or a micarta nut in some cases - if you can tell the difference in tone between bone and Micarta you have Eric Johnson's ears.
3) There is absolutely nothing wrong with Gibson tuners - you are wasting your money completely on locking tuners - they will help keep a non-locking trem in tune, they will make zero difference to your Les Paul.
4) Gibson use two different kinds of humbuckers (basically, there are more, but you can divide them into two categories) - the '57s/Burstbuckers, and the 490/498 high output jobbies on guitars like the Studio and the Classic. The latter have tons of output, and are great sounding pickups. The former have lowish output, but tons of tone - the Burstbucker is a great sounding pickup - it has an openness and airiness to the tone which, in a really nice Les Paul is an absolute wonder to behold.
5) If you have problems keeping a double locking trem guitar in tune, you are heading for an absolute world of pain with a Les Paul - sorry, just simply the case - they have a floating tailpiece, a floating bridge (with floating bridgepieces in it for goodness sake!), an odd break angle over the bridge if you want tone and sustain, and as the string passes over the nut it changes direction in a compound angle! Every single one of these points is a situation which can lead to string sticking, and if you do big bends and huge vibrato, the string moves across each of these surfaces, pinching and snagging as they go.
I'm not a Gibson fan, I have owned Custom Shop Les Pauls, a '64 SG, a Les Paul Deluxe, a mid seventies SG and still have an Explorer (somewhere), really good ones sound fantastic, and I love that sound, but particularly the CS Les Paul's (a 57 Goldtop RI) inability to be intonated, stay in tune for as long as a whole song, contributions to my physiotherapist's retirement fund due to the effects it's weight and complete lack of contouring had on my nerves and musculature, along with Gibson's total inability to actually crown and level frets before they leave the factory (since solved I believe by Gibson purchasing FIVE Plek machines!) - this was a $7000AUD guitar bear in mind, led me to sell the clunker to a friend who adores LPs, and I swapped it for a stoptail PRS Custom 22 - which has none of the above issues, and is simply a better built instrument to start off with.
So, sure, look at Les Pauls, but have a look at the PRS Singlecut as well - it has a one piece Stoptail (no string angle problems, no rattly bits), a straight string angle over the nut, and locking tuners (unnecessary, but I think they are the only ones PRS use), a nicer neck heel, a nicer neck shape and great pickups. Singlecuts seem to go for anywhere from about $1650 - $1900 secondhand (I think Wildwood has one for about $1650 at the moment), and at that price, they frankly eat Gibson Les Pauls - why do you think Gibson took them to court!!!!
If you still want a Les Paul, look at the Studios before you plomp anything down on an Epi, sorry all you Epi owners out there, but they are junk.