Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul
+1 on the Gibson LP Standards and Classics. Also consider original Gothics, and Voodoo's on the used market. Omit anything post Voodoo other than the regular lines (Classic, Standard, Custom, Customshop etc) as it seems Gibson got fruity with all these wierd sub-Classic, quasi-modernistic models. I think the Classic is terrific value for the money. Go to a store, try as many as possible, pick the one that has the sounds, and playability that works for you. Understand that a setup may very well be needed for each guitar to reach it maximum playability. Also be prepared to change the pickups on a Classic to something more flavorful and less shreddy unless you are into the high output ceramic deal. When I could afford my first Les Paul brand new in the store, I happened to still be working in a large music chain. I pulled all the Classics we had regardless of color, (was 11 in stock), and picked the ONE that had the weight, sound, and setup-potential. (I slapped 11's on it, cranked the truss rod accordingly, lowered the TOM a bit, and changed pickups on that guitar to Rio Grande BBQ buckers set, zebra coils.) I was pleased, there is something magical about the "right" LP.