Other than the outright appearance there is very little in common between an Epiphone and a Gibson. It's not like lower end / higher end like Fender does with Squire, then Squire Affinity, then Mexican, then American Standard, then American Deluxe. Even though Gibson and Epiphone have the same parent company and thus Epiphone should be producing the best Gibson "knock offs" out there this is hardly the case. Even the pricing seems to shout this out. Yes. The Epiphones sport some beautiful looking tops and look very much like Gibsons, but, that's the extent of it. On Epiphones the angled neck pocket / bridge never seem to be in sync with one another. You can't get the action anywhere near as low as a Gibsons. With an Epiphone the overall balance of the weight of the body verses the weight of the neck never seems to achieve a balance. A good Gibson will stay in tune for quite a long period while Epiphone's need a little tweaking between almost every song performed.
I've owned a "Top of the line" Epiphone Les Paul which I traded in and I now own a lower level, "by some people's standards" Gibson Les Paul Studio. My Studio, out of 13 guitars in my house, is the second best guitar I own. Not by cost but by actual quality. The only guitar I own that beats it cost me four times as much.
If you want a Les Paul type of guitar go Gibson or Edwards or Burny or even Ibanez before you go Epiphone. Maybe others have had better luck than me, but, I'll not buy another Epiphone in this lifetime.
This is all just IMO of course.
By Mayor McCheese
. . . about the Epi pickups - they're pretty much junk, as are the rest of the electronics. The toggle switches in particular are not very high quality and break very easily. So if you get a lower end Epi, you're probably going to end up having to rewire it, which is a big pain in the ass. I'm dealing with this with the 1275 double neck I bought last year right now. The pickups are not awful, but not real good either (and they are lowish output), and the toggle switches, wiring, and pots are total junk. The switches are breaking down and I've sort of rigged 'em for now until I get ready to tackle it. It's all going to have to come out eventually.