The best bang for the buck in a Les Paul-style guitar today has to be the Edwards line from ESP. My Lemon Drop E-LP-90LTS is nicer than all of the new sub-$3K Gibson Les Pauls that I have played. I purchased it directly from Ishibashi Music in Japan (they ship via EMS). ESP changed the model number to E-LP-98LTS and jacked up the price a little bit; however, the guitar is still a steal. My Edwards Les Paul has a one-piece body and a long-tenon neck.
Here is a picture of the E-LP-90LTS (LTS = Lacquer Taste Les Paul Standard): http://www.ishibashi.co.jp/webshop/guitar/esp/edwards/elp90lts.htm
Inquiries can be made via the e-mail address at this URL: http://www.ishibashi-music.com/
They're quite cheap. An Edwards John Sykes signature costs about as much as an Epi LP Custom. But it has a bone nut and Seymour Duncans.
By Eclipse II
I have an Edwards Les Paul copy. Cheap as chips - great guitar!