Bought one of these a couple of years ago as a graduation present to myself. It's an Ibanez ARC300, and it's fantastic. I didn't think I liked Ibanez's, but then I tried that, and it's far better than any other similar-priced guitar I've tried. Got it for $800 IIRC, marked down from $1100, so it's in the same range as your Epiphone Les Paul knock-offs, but is far, far nicer to play than them. Great tone, good tone control, and the neck is a nice, comfortable size and shape. Looks good too, with the Paua inlay and all.
Think it won some NZ music magazine award as the best overall guitar the year I bought it, considering value for money etc. Highly recommended.