I like Epis fine, but for the$ a Schecter is most likely going to be better (discounting for individual gems/lemons from both companies) I have had a couple Epis and a Schecter, the Schecter was a much better guitar
I'd second the call for Schecter. All the ones i've played have had amazing fret jobs, quality hardware and amazingly enough near spot on intonation. Not to mention the fact that the Duncan designed pickups they come with ( the blackjack may come with real duncans i cant remember) sound really nice plus you have the added versatility of the coil taps as standard.
of course as mentioned above you can't guard against quality control via the internet so i'd recommend either buying from a local store or from an internet site with a good return policy.
I seem to be outnumbered here... but I vote for the Epiphone Les Paul. I have a standard and it has held up incredibly well. Mine came with Grover tuners already installed. I took the liberty of installing some Seymour Duncan jazz pickups and that's about it. Beautiful and classic tones. I would also vouch that you should sit down and try several guitars at once in the store. I had three Epiphone Les Paul Standard's in front of me before I found the one I loved.