wat's da difference between an epiphone les paul standard and a epiphone les paul custom?
Chrome hardware vs gold hardware...
Maybe pickups too - I dunno, check out the specs on the Epiphone website:
epiphone website

(Yet Another) Member of the Laney Cult
Gear in Profile
They're identical except for the color of the hardware. Don't waste your money on the custom.
looks like its just apperance
but id imagine the custom is built to a better standard
Epiphone Les Paul Special 2
ESP EX-400
Roland Cube-15
Bugera 6260 head
Home made 2x12 loaded with celestion G12t-100s

Personally, I'd just play as many Epi Standards as you can until you find the right quality, feel and sound.
The only difference I know of is the paint and the gold hardware. Other than that same guitar.