Ok, Some time ago I got an itch to replace the stock 490R and 498T pickups that came in my les paul studio, so I started searching the internet to decide which pickups I would like to put in it. My search led me here, to what is probably the most helpful and insightful forum on pickups on the internet. Anyway, long story short, I decided on a Pearly Gates neck and A8 59/Custom bridge for my lester, with push-pulls on the volume knobs for series/parallel options for both pickups. However because of a little thing called college, I was unable to test the pickups extensively enough to make a decision on them. Now that I'm back home for summer, I've finally been able to play my les paul enough to come to a decision on what I think about these pickups. So...
PGn - Despite what i've read, it's a fairly dark neck pickup, however, it has an edge to it that keeps it from being muddy, and it has a smooth singing tone as you go up the neck. However, it's a bit heavy on the low end, and I now understand what people mean when that call it 'loose' (not a bad thing, but it's just a bit too much for me) However, it's much less bass-heavy when in parallel, and i'll be damned if it doesn't have some twang to it. Also, sometimes the 'edge' it has can be a bit irritating at full bore, but the tone knob cleans that up nicely. While it's probably not going to be the final neck pickup to be in this guitar, It's a vast, vast improvement over the 490R, which, for lack of a better word, was vague sounding.
A8 59/Custom - All I can say is that this pickup does the brown sound absolutely incredibly. It sings almost as well as the PGn in the high registers, but sounds a bit more thin (probably a result of being in the bridge position). However, for high and medium gain stuff, it rocks my socks off. Originally, I was intending on replacing the magnet with an A2, but the more I play it, the more the A8 grows in me. It has this great growl on the low notes, and plenty of attitude everywhere else. It's incredibly balanced, I could hear clearly every note of every chord I played (and all over the neck). The great thing about it is that no one frequency is overpowering, and all the notes sound like they should (low notes are taught, the middle frequencies are there, and between the high and low frequencies, sound wise, and the high register is sweet with great presence but not shrill or ice-picky in any way). I'm fairly confident that this will be the last bridge humbucker to go in this guitar, It's versatile and blends perfectly with the neck pickup.
Overall, I think i'm going to try an A3 and an A4 in the neck before I consider changing it, and if those don't work out, I think i'm going to try the jazz bridge in the neck, I hear great things about it.
Also, the above evaluations were done with my paul through a vox tonelab SE into headphones, so it's not going to be the same as actually playing through a marshall stack or what have you, but it works for my purposes. I would like to thank everybody here for their help, and that's about it. Thanks guys, you brought some much needed life to my les paul. Next, I plan on doing up my strat, which currently has two stock single coils and a hot rails bridge (I'm planning on doing something along the lines of two surfers for the neck and middle positions and an EVH (or maybe crazy 8? ) for the bridge, but that's another story for another day.)