I'll try and write up some kind of better review when I have more time if you want Clem but the short version is I bought a Honey Burst colored Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top last spring after playing one in a Guitar Center and I am very happy with it. In fact, I would try to purchase another one if something ever happened to it. It's been a solid workhorse for the practices, jams, and bar gigs I've done since. I do want to mention mine has a Floyd Rose bridge which looks a little out of place at first on a Les Paul but I'm happy with. The twin Alnico Classic Humbuckers have good sustain with a very warm tone and the hardware overall is pretty solid.
Although I would love to own one I couldn't see dropping over 2000$ for a Gibson Les Paul unless I did the band thing full time. Surely (I shouldn't call you Shirley?) you are wanting one for more than just alternative tunings?
As for ordering something that expensive sight unseen and unsound from Amazon or wherever, I would be a little worried without doing some kind of research and performance test myself. If you are deadset on getting one online I would highly recommend checking out some local shops and playing each through the same amp/eq beforehand. If you've never played either one you'll be amazed how ballsy they sound compared to the treble-heavy blues Strat sound.
Fuck-it list: Owls, Ohio, Facebook, Red Wings.