i have a friend based out of the santa barbara area that slings over his shoulder a beat up double gig bag that is filled with his '59 les paul and an olympic white 61 strat.
he showed up with my brother at a small club and handed me the '59 les paul to play through my matchless chieftain.
incredible old wood with a glorious sound.
the neck carve was virtually identical side by side with my unburst ia standard.
i have to say that many of the magically skilled luthiers who we know and love here at tgp are building new instruments that are comparable to the real 1959 les paul i played.
in no particular order, ian anderson, jack briggs, gene baker, johan gustavsson, terry mcinturff, dave mcnaught, etc, etc...............are all making superlative instruments that
can rival some of the revered old wood.
just my 2 cents from personal experience..............