First of all, I want to thank you for your time spent with me and your advice... Here is my situation: I have about 3k +/- if need be to spend on a guitar. I really want a gibson les paul 59' spec guitar with a carved flame maple top. I can really care less if it says gibson on the headstock! I just tend to believe that if I were to buy an actual current model gibson I would be paying more for the name than the craftsmanship. I bet there are some small luthiers that can build a comparable if not better guitar at a fraction of the price. Anyway, please let me know what you would do in my situation. Is there a particular builder you would recomend (like Ed Roman j/k!!!). Thanks again for your time.