I've had my Gibson Les Paul Standard (Classic)for 12 years now and really nothing else comes close in terms of power and great playing (I've been playing seriously for 18 years). If you really want a GLP go for the Classic, Standard or Custom. Don't bother with buying a Studio, an Epiphone or equivalent copy, just save your cash up (it may take longer but it'll be worth it) and look around on eBay or Guitarist magazine etc. Don't get a cheaper substitute 'cos you'll regret it Do your research first and sort out a budget - look to spend around £800 - £1100 on a standard and up to £1500 for a custom -(both used prices as new prices have gone through the roof since VAT rise and increase in entertainment goods prices).
Provided the instrument is ok with no neck breaks or cracks etc it'll give you great service, but you need to spend a little on it from time time getting it set up properly by a pro (don't risk ballsing it up yourself unless YOU are a pro)and fret dressing etc. It's money well spent. It'll also help retain a resale value should you decide to sell it on. However, all other guitars that I've used along side my GLPC since end up being flogged as the GLP wipes them all - I play rock & metal primarily but the GLP is pretty much like a strat in that you can use it to play anything. If your a serious player, suggest replacing the machineheads with Grovers as they're much better than the Klusons that adorn the Standards.