Yup, and in reality Gibson should produce the best Les Paul, but that's not always the case. And when you have to mortgage your house to buy one, it really makes that goal they have of being "the most played guitar brand in the world" a complete and empty pipe dream! Not bragging, but I could buy 2 new LP standards right now and be alright.... but I would never, because sadly they aren't worth what they are charging. It's the horrible attitude and lack of foresight/investment in future players by making quality guitars financially accessible to the masses, without them being stripped down to the point of non recognition. PRS Does it in Korea, Fender does it in Mexico... why can't Gibson do something similar instead of acting like and being proud that their guitars are "out of reach" and are merely an aspiration for the majority.... (that seems real smart) And when the day comes you have saved up all your peanuts to join the cool club and you go to claim your prize you find a poor finish, a bad fret job, a volume pot that "never stops turning" or even mile high action... All for the reasonable price of 3k... Its Shameful. The above description is from an experience I had with 2 new Firebirds year before last... they were appalling, truthfully.