Sometime in the early summer im hoping to get a Gibson Les Paul (either online or via a shop) along with a JCM800 used if i can.

Anyway, to the point, im not sure which models would be the best for me. Ive narrowed it down to either the "Classic " "Standard " and "Custom "

Basically, if i went for a custom it would have to be second hand as i wouldnt then have enough for a decent combo or head/cab.

The differences between the custom and standard are only small. The Classic has a carved maple top, whereas the standard has a carved AA maple top (whatever that means!) and also the classic has "Amber Top Hat knobs" whereas the standard has the same but in gold. Pickups are really the only difference, but how good are Burstbucker Pro's compared with the 496R and 500T's of the classic? I prefer the looks of the classic as they have the open humbuckers (and im sick of having dirty fingermarks on my Epi LP)

The custom has a bit more to offer, such as the ebony fingerboard and 490 Alnico (R) and 498 Alnico pickups, but are they really worth the extra £750? Please bear in mind i havent played any of these models yet, so i realise what suites me is always best, but i could still do with some other experiances with these models and what they have found to be the best. (I play alot of blues/jazz with the bridge pup and mostly classic rock with the neck and general distorted sounds)

Thanks for any replies.
the custom will probably be worth the extra money, but i havent tried one cuz the guy in the shop realised i had no money before i got to it...damn...
The custom is handmade, I believe. It's certainly the most prized model, and it'll fetch thousands if you ever plan to sell it again. The pickups sound much darker than the Burstbuckers on the Standard.

I, personally, dislike the ceramic pickups of the "Classic". I would take the standard for the most versatility. It sounds great for blues and classic rock. The Custom would sound a bit muddy on the clean channel...adn even more muddy if you use distortion pedals.

EDIT: The AA flame maple represents the category of the maple used. The more A's in front of it, the more visible the flame pattern is.
there's a 59' custom black beauty at a shop in my home town, only asking $101,000 for it!

i personally didn't like the classic, and Gibson can't get rid of them quick enough in my city. there were offering crazy deals on them.

i have a Standard and i love it.

i think no matter which you buy there's a good chance you are going to replace the pickups in them.
Cream fan club member #11.
Each is different in it's own way. Custom's going to have an Ebony Fretboard. Grover Tuners and usually Gold hardware depending on year and model. Different knobs, ect. I like my Classic Gold-Top..... since it's nice and broke in and I know every millimeter of it by now. I almost bought a Root-Beer Standard last week.... but after playing it for about 30 minutes I realized that it didn't really feel any different/better than my Classic. I've played many Customs and they are definatley the baddest LP's out there.....but go ahead and expect to pay at a minimum $2000 to $2500 easily for a used one. I am definately looking into a Custom Shop or possibly one of the Supreme's. One thing to remember out the guitars is that they are meant to be Played. So if re-sale and keeping the thing in Pristine condition is your thing..... then get a used Classic. It's gonna get banged up and scratched eventually. Not to mention that there's something to be said about a guy holding a crazy old looking Les Paul. If it ain't being used then you ain't getting your moneys worth!! There's definately not a $1500 sound / playability difference between any of them. Worst case scenario bag yourself a used Classic for around $1000 and throw some Burstbucker V pickups in it if you wish. Maybe upgrade to some Grovers. I personally like the Ebony Fretboard better than the Rosewood..... but your hands will learn to like whatever.
96 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
95 Strat w/ Lindy Fralins
Ibanez JS1000
Orange AD30HTC
Vox AC30
Blue Alnico Cab
Budda Wah
Barber Tone Press
Keeley NOVA Wah
Pederson Strobo
Keeley TS-808
HBE Chorus
T-Rex Delay
Red Witch Moon Phase
The custom is handmade, I believe.

All Gibsons are handmade, FYI.
Dont rule out the Classic, though. Great used buy if you can find one cheap. I have one I got off ebay for 1350, has burstbuckers and grovers.
Great buy.