I don't want to join the Epi vs Gibson undertow in this thread, but if I wanted to try out a Les Paul to see what I was missing I would get an Epi and drop some decent pups in it.
That is what I did. I can afford a few LPs if I wanted, but I just can't spend that kind of $$$ on guitars that have crooked tuners off the rack (I have seen many like this to include a Slash Sig LP when they came out). I love my little Epi, it sound great and plays great. What more can you ask for?
For the cost of Gibson, I can buy Jacksons and Hamers.
Jackson quality makes Gibson cry, and Hamer is what Gibson wants to be when it grows up.