Did you even read his question. It's fairly straightforward.There's way too many possibilities. The question needs to be narrowed down, imo. Are we talking boutique builders? Or something like the Heritage guitars built in Kalamazoo? Or are we talking inexpensive guitars like Epi, ESP, Indio, etc...?
I can think of ones right now built by Gustavsson that blows almost every other LP-style guitar I've ever seen away. But those are starting at like $12k USD and more. So, are we talking the best overall? The best inexpensive LP-style? Can you narrow the scope of your question?
I mean, I just picked up a single cut Goldtop for $200 that I think is an absolutely awesome guitar. But then, I've never owned a Gibson and have only been playing guitar for just under a year. Still, this Goldtop is out-freaking-standing. I couldn't ask for a better guitar for $200, IMHO.
Is it the best LP-style guitar? Not overall it's not. Is it the best under $200? I'd say so. You really need to define exactly what it is that you're asking about. As it is, your question is far too broad.
What is the best non-Gibson Les Paul? I understand preference comes into it but would be good to know if anyone’s bought any bad ones.
Can I answer this question a different way?I just got myself a new Tokai LS 136f. Is it the best? I don't know. Do I like it? I absolutely love it. Perfect Japanese craftsmanship, affordable and it sounds incredible. It will definitely be a keeper.
For budget guitars, I had a PRS SE Bernie Marsden that was really nice. The sound was good and the neck felt great. The finish was thick, but not as bad as some. I sold it when I bought a Les Paul Traditional Pro II '50s neck. I wish I hadn't!
I played a used Vintage V100 PG Lemon Drop and wanted to like it but really, really didn't. It felt like a very inexpensive import. Dull sound. Super thick glossy finish. More of a "guitar shaped object" than anything else.