After 7 years of playin trombone for my school jazz band I finally got bored and fed up with it. I have always had an interest in guitars and have always picked one up if whenever I've had the chance. With Christmas comin up, I decided on askin good ole santy clause for a guitar. My only problem is I'm not entirely sure what I sould be lookin at. I'm a complete beginner and I'm looking for a les paul style/sounding guitar that will be fairly cheap but also last a few years; or atleast until I graduate college (in about 5 years) and can afford to get a better quality one. My limit is about $300 and i might be able to squeeze another $50 for an amp, cables, etc. So far i've been looking at:

Epiphone LP 100
Ibanez ART100
Epiphone Les Paul Special II w/ All access pack @ guitar center

any help or guidance would be much appreciated.
Go for a 15w Peavey vypyr its $100 new, so that would give you a good $200-$250 on a guitar, which depends on what kinda music you want to play