It's funny how one can get stuck in their ways. I feel exactly like you do about Les Pauls. And god knows that the single cut design with mahogany body and carved maple top and mahogany neck is hardly exclusive to Gibson these days, but whenever I see a LP type guitar without the right headstock, without that exact body shape, it usually says no to me. For all intents and purposes, as long as the instrument is well made, it shouldn't matter really. I should make a point of trying a 52ri one day. Heard so many good things about it. The hot rod sounds nice too - I do better with slightly hotter pick ups, one of the reason I like the big MFD pick ups in my ASAT. Hardly high output, but slightly hotter than vintage correct output.