If MrFlibble were still with us he'd be the first to mention that other than gold-plated hardware and block inlays, there's absolutely no difference between a Custom and a Standrad. Made side by side with the same woods, on the same line, just finished differently. Definitely not worth the extra $200 IMO.
i have played many epi les pauls both standard and custom. they have different sounds to them its not just the gold hardware
p-90s arent that noisy distorted and if it really makes you feel better u can use a noise gate. as guitars go if u want cheap ($100-$500) an epiphone les paup junior($150 but u have to install the p-90 yourself) or epiphone les paul special (not special II) or if u have $800 go buy a gibson les paul junior
prs. most prs guitars sound pretty good and are built like tanks. if u can get about $400 more u can get yourself a prs mira x which sounds very nice and is INSANELY light its a dreak to play standing up
epiphones les paul custom. they are imho the best built epiphones u can buy. they are pretty versitile. they are a bit heavy tho. the regular epiphone les paul custom is just a little bit higher than the epiphone les paul custom silverburst tone wise.
a punch doesnt feel that nice to eaither person i shattered my right hand punching someone. dont go looking for a fight but if u r in a situation when u need to fight aim for the nuts first and when hes holding hinself go for the face