So after doing some more research into my next guitar, I'm actually starting to lean more towards a Carvin. I really like that I could make it to my specs and get a good guitar for only slightly more than the EC-1000 I was looking at. I've read a lot about how the necks are really nice, but that's really all I've heard from people.

I don't like flashy flamed or quilted tops really, so I was looking at the ST-300 so I could get it in red with a satin finish. It would cost me about $900 with the stainless frets and painted neck back. So that seems better to me than $840 or so on the LTD. So are Carvins pretty good guitars? I'm looking at the S covered humbuckers for it. Are those pretty good sounding? I play like older metal and the like.

I can't find reviews outside of Carvin's site and I figure if it's good, why not. I've got two good ones and I figure the Carvin would be a good addition.
I hear they're pretty good around here. Played a few at my local GC (some dude came in and sold 3 or 4 to them) and they aren't the model you're looking at I believe, but they all played pretty good. The pickups sounded perfectly good for stock, but if you REALLY can't make them sound good it shouldn't be a big deal (although you probably won't need to).
They're pretty good

Where's Waldo?

Carvin has been around since the early 70's or so. They're not mainstream because you have to order them to be built first and so you never see them (new) in a Music store. This has made less known but supposedly saves you money as they've cut out the middle man (store)They are quality instruments but their better ones are quite a bit more expensive than the 900 or so you're looking at, that would be more towrads their bare bones models.
Moving on.....
When I did the build guitar thing, I only did a few extra things. I think the ST is 800 or so if you didn't add anything. I added a TOM, kept the alder body/maple neck, just did a solid red satin finish, did the painted back of neck, stainless frets, S series covered humbuckers, and black hardware. That was it. I've been looking at the DC400 with that awesome dragonburst finish with some of those same options. But I don't think my playing is good enough to warrant a $1600 guitar.