I am a beginner from a rock and metal background. I have been trying to buy my first lead guitar and after some research it became apparent that the Epiphone Les Paul was the best first guitar for beginners. I found that the Epiphone Les Paul guitar packs were the best option and Bryan Epsey gave an excellent demonstration on these packs. Of the three he demonstrated, I chose the Performance pack with the Epiphone 15R Electar amp. However, I couldn't find this pack anywhere online. In my research, only the Player pack was still in stock. The problem was that this only came with a 10 watt amp and the 15 watt amps were out of production as was the Performance pack and Epiphone Goth SG Electric Guitar Performance Pack. Then I watched all the Epiphone Les Paul guitars being previewed by experts on YouTube. The one that stood out was the Epiphone Les Paul Special II. This rated as the best of all. However, getting this as part of a pack proved fruitless and even when it was, it only came with the 10w amp. The single Player pack is still available, but now the amp has shrunk to nothing more than a toy for kids. The only option now is to buy the Epiphone Les Paul Special II and an alternative 15 watt amp separately. Now, yet another problem has emerged, the Epiphone Les Paul Special II is no longer in production and has been replaced with the Epiphone Les Paul Vintage Edition. After researching this, it too is cheaper and nothing more than a toy. Yet retailers are marketing the VE as having very little difference to the Epiphone Les Paul Special II. The VE is clearly no match for the Special II. So, it would seem that Epiphone have downgraded beginner models to toys.
I would really appreciate any feedback and opinions from anyone that may be able to offer some suggestions.
Many thanks in advance.