Re: whats the difference between a les paul studio and a les paul standard?
Actually.. BOTH the standard and the studio are mahogany with maple tops. The only difference is the pickups, colors and lack of binding on the studio. The studio was designed as a cleaner, simpler version of the standard. Mind you the tops on the standards tend to have SOME flame, Gibson recently issued the Studio Plus which is essentially the studio with a flame maple top like a standard. It's really your call on which one you prefer, especially if your going to swap out the pickups.
(neck shapes depends on what was ordered, both DID come in both the 50 and the 60 taper, but I'm not too sure if they still do..)