This is the first Gibson I've purchased. Bought locally with the assistance of knowledgeable, helpful, and professional Sam Ash staff! Thanks! Finish: beautiful wood grain highlighted under the translucent cherry finish - absolutely no issues with finish. Beautifully bound neck matches pickguard and zebra humbuckers. Neck: 60s slim taper - very comfortable for any style (metal, rock, blues) - easy access to high frets to get your Randy Rhoads on. 12" radius gives you plenty of room for big bends. Thinner neck than the 50's standard, so choose this if you prefer a modern feel. Pickups: higher output than I expected, but the Alnico V's scream and can get sweet also. I'd say these ('BurstBucker 61R & 61T ) work well for any style (rock, metal, blues). Very good for players who use the volume controls! Roll back to get sweet cleans. Controls: a selling point to me was the "out of phase" sound you can get with the push/pull pots - Peter Green tone! Very cool option. The push/pull coil splits are also very useful - no volume drops when in use, and some nice Tele tones can be achieved. Overall, this instrument surpassed my expectations. Also stays in tune very well, and came set up with perfect, low action. Case is high quality also, which is a plus. If you don't need/want the flame top on the Standard 60's (for $499 more), get an LP Classic since it has the same pickups and neck profile. This is a great all-around LP that can do it all - I can play some old school BluesBreakers, rock out some LedZep, and get into John Sykes/Randy Rhoads style pentatonic shredding. Does it all. Never had a Gibson. The only buyer's remorse I have is that I bought several less expensive Asian imports over the years (Schecter, Epiphone, Gretsch) when I just shoulda saved and purchased a USA Gibson. It's all true - even with upgrades, no import guitar will match up to the quality and craftmanship of this LP Classic. You get what you pay for. Do it!