Doug, thanks for your reply as well. No offense taken, you can't offer to advise if you don't ask the good questions.
In terms of 1/2: Yes, I am well familiar with the pickup selector switches and the volume / tone knobs. I experiment with them heavily when I am trying out new guitars. They are different than my stratocaster, but easy enough to figure out.
So the session that led to this post I played 2 Les Pauls, 1 335 and 1 339. When switching between them I would try and play the same thing with all of the Volume/Tone knobs set equivalently. Both Les Pauls sounded great with the bass know (on the amp) set right in the middle and both the 335/339 needed the bass knob rolled all the way down. I have played 335s previously and don't recall this being an issue before. If it was one guitar that had this issue, I would write it off as a bad setup. But since both of the ES had the issue and the Les Pauls didn't, it made me question the reason. Could this be something in the setup? (pickup height, etc?)
All of these Guitars were at Guitar Center (please don't flame me, there is nowhere else to go where I live)
* See the setup question above.
* Most of the Gibsons are in general in pretty rough shape at this store and it is very hard to find a good playing one most of the time there.
"The 335 is the most useful guitar on the market and, given a halfway decent amp, you should be able to obtain any tone you want."
* This seems to be what I am finding!
* I might as well ask what you think about the 339? I think that the smaller package would be nice. :)