#1
Ok, so I'm having a really hard time choosing my first more serious guitar. At the moment my guitar is an Ibanez GRG121EX(first electric) that I play through a Roland MicroCube (I also have a Marshall Jackhammer pedal, but I use it rather scarcely).
I usually listen and play stuff from Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth to Satriani, Paul Gilbert and Petrucci, but lately I started really liking SRV, Joe Bonamassa, B.B. King and Slash's style of playing, so I don't want the guitar to be restrained only to metal.

At the moment, I am looking at an Epi Les Paul Standard Plustop PRO, an Epi Goth Explorer (The only pointy shape guitar that I like, but I don't know how big is the adjusting problem from a lot of inlays to almost no inlays and I don't how well it will play the blues, I would also have the money to change its pickups), Standard Fender (afraid it's going to be too light for my taste, but the whammy bar is a big plus for me) and an Ibanez 7-stringer, but that's a big maybe. Ibanez is starting to feel rather bland to me, I think I would like a change.

Budget is ~800$. Used is not an option where I live.

I am going to test each and every one of these guitars of course, but still I would like to hear your opinions. All recommendations appreciated.
#2
Inlays shouldn't be an issue -- there are always the fretmarkers on the edge of the guitar, even with no inlays on the fretboard itself (check this one):



Where do you live (and why is used not an option)?
#3
Do not worry about the inlays. You will never even know they are there or not with neck markers.

As for what to pick that is going to be up to you. Since you can test each guitar out I'm sure you will find the one you like at that time.

All of the guitars you mentioned are solid options. Personally the explorer is a lil to much for me, but that is just me. I would like to recommend a Paul Reed Smith SE guitar. There are many models in the SE line to chose from, and for the money they are about as nice as they come if you are going new.

Take your time deciding, and Have fun with it. Shopping and buying is half the fun!!!
#4
I live in Romania and the used gear market is rather small. I don't want to try my luck with it.
#5
Not even online from a reputable seller?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!