I recently moved from Brazil to Canada and left my old Jackson JDR 94 for my younger brother.
That guitar was a gift I got from my father, as a gift I didnt have any say on what I was getting so I spent the last gazilion years playing with my jackson and I was quite happy with it.

From what I could see from videos most of the bands that I like the guys/girls use les paul looking guitars but thats all I could see.

My budget was originally around 1000CAD, then my father step in (woot) and said he is going to top it with another 1500CAD so I can get something to last for like... forever lol.

So, thats my budget. I went to a store today and tried a bunch of different guitars, from paul reed smith to a dozen gibson lespauls and a zakk wylde epiphone.

I played one really light les pau that had a hollow body, nice clean sound, hated it when I put it on the distortion.. then i tried a faded studio (960CAD) and felt it was kinda ok... Then I got my hands on another studio and liked it a bit more... so obviously the sales guy kept bringing me shinny toys...
The next one was the studio(1179CAD pretty white, crappy gold lols) and I tought it couldnt get any better, it was light, had a really nice sound, be it clean or distorted... when I tought I had reached heaven the guy brought me a traditional solid (1969CAD) that had just arrived and I went beyong heaven, being an average player with not much experience with guitars besides my good old jackson I really liked this one.. but I felt that after a hour playing my back would break from the weight.

To top it of I tried a Les paul standard with the 50s neck (2359CAD), I think I found what I was looking for bbuuuuuuut... I would really like to get some input.

Did I do the right thing ? Sitting at the store and trying different guitars is the way to go?
At that price range, is there anything else that would be better?
Anything I should specifically be looking for at the guitars?

I dont solo much, I usually do the base (rly should stop being lazy and improve...), I want some good clean sound and want to be able to crank up on the distortion sometimes.

Some bands that I like (ya I play on a church, so gospel music most of the time) are Hillsong, Delirious, Barlowgirl, Avalon... making it short it should be versatile :P in churches you usually play a wide range of styles.

If it helps heres one video from hillsong to help ppl get the idea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYzT...feature=related ,
And one from barlowgirl (she plays a telecaster i thiiiink... damn blurry youtube video :P)

Sooo, I wanna get my guitar ASAP, buuut I would love to hear some advice from ppl more experienced than me.

I'm also going to get a guitar rig 3 (dont bother trying to talk me out of this one :P luved it). For amps Ill be borrowing from friends for a while since I dont have any space left in my small apartment.

Tks a lot for any input!

From my perspective, I would say don't spend TOO much money on 1 guitar. I don't think a les paul is worth the $2000+ it commands.

My suggestion, try some PRS's in the 500-1000 range and like a Fender American Strat and see how they compare to the Les Paul. I would also try an Ibanez S. I've played my friend's Gibson LP and also his Ibanez S and I like the Ibanez more, but everyone has their own opinion.

I would also like to say that if you do try some other guitars (you are going about this the proper way BTW), say like an Ibanez or a Fender, and you feel that the 2300cad Les Paul is a lot better, then by all means I would get the Gibson Les Paul if you feel that's best for you. I hope that helped.

Oh another thing. I hope you have a good amp cause that's where most of the sound comes from. What is the amp you plan to use?
my MG15DFX has a button that simulates the sound of one of the expensive tube marshall amps

Fender Stratocaster HSS
Traynor YCV-50 Blue
Peavey Envoy 110

Wishlist: Hamer USA Explorer, Gibson Explorer
Just get the solid Les Paul. You'll get accustomed the weight if you play it often enough.
Well yeah, just try alot of guitars and see wich one you like best, but keep in mind that at the church you won't be playing the amp as in the store, and since amp influences 80% of the sound it'll be so much different
Gibsons are overpriced. I've been playing Dean guitars for a good year now and I've never looked back. Schecter is a very close second though.
Quote by kranoscorp
I find that I feel the same about women who play bass as I think of immigrants in America.

I respect them for finding a place in society under a lot of ridicule, but I have an odd paranoia that they are going to steal my job.
Quote by ZeBubba!
Gibsons are overpriced. I've been playing Dean guitars for a good year now and I've never looked back. Schecter is a very close second though.

Overpriced, maybe. But the one thing I've noticed about a Gibson is that they always sound good no matter what you plug them into, with little to no tweaking of the EQ. They also work for pretty much any sort of music.

The biggest issue with Gibson is the quality can really vary a lot. I've seen poorly made gibsons and I've seen ones that are absolutely flawless.

As you said, both Dean and Schecter are good guitars, but neither brand is quite as versatile, and I've never really though much of their clean sounds. They're more meant to be played with a lot of gain, so to me the clean always kind of lacked character.
Thanks a lot for the input guys!

Ill try some other guitars too, in fact I tried some others in the store before, I played a ibanez art500 and didnt really like it. I cant play a fender, they just feel soooo unconfortable for me.. weird.. :P I tried some PRS a the store, the sound was really good, but i felt like something was lacking, on one mira the frets were hurting my fingers @_@, on the other the sound wasnt as good as from the gibson.

Icronic, when you mentioned the quality issue with the gibson, what should I look in the guitar to know if I'm getting a good or a crappy one?

About having more than one guitar, it never worked out for me, I dont have a car so carrying much suff isnt an option, so I'd rather have one versatile guitar than a couple ones that are good at one or two things..