A beautiful sounding guitar invented by a man of the same name. The Les Paul Standard model features a rounded C-neck made of mahogany, rosewood fingerboard, maple top, mahogany body, twin humbuckers, and is indeed quite heavy. However if it is too heavy for you, try getting a decent strap which some people apparently fail to do. I have a Les Paul Vintage Mahogany and the thing doesn't have the maple top, neck and body SOLID MAHOGANY, one of the HEAVIEST woods used in making guitars as you well know, and with a strap this thing is light as a feather. Even without one, I'd be able to play easily if I didn't have to struggle to keep hold of the guitar with my right hand. And for all you who say these guitars sound muddy-try actually messing around with your settings for awhile and/or get a decent amp. Let me give you an example of my setup.
Gibson Les Paul Vintage Mahogany -> MXR ZW-44 Overdrive (Gain-10, Tone-8.5, Output matched to clean channel volume) -> Boss BF-3 Flanger (Manual at 12:00, Resonance 2:00, Depth 3:00, Rate 9:00, Standard or Ultra mode) -> Boss DD-6 Digital Delay (Effect Level 6:00, Feedback 1:30, Delay Time 8:00, 300ms mode, or just matched to tempo) -> Fender Princeton Chorus non-DSP
(Treble 8.5, Mids 5.5, Bass 10, Gain 7.5, Limiter 0, Prescence +5, and my chorus settings are Rate 2, Depth 5)
Trust me, tweak a Gibson Les Paul and you're gonna get a good sound out of it. These guitars are crystal clear, not muddy, and get an INCREDIBLE distortion and overdrive. If you want a warm, thick-as-hell, creamy overdrive or clean sound, the Captain Crunch of classic rock sounds, an incredible metal (new or old) distortion, or screaming leads from hell, the Les Paul is gonna work out FANTASTIC. If you want a brighter, thinner, tighter sound, get a Fender Strat.
Some Les Paul players are Ace Frehley, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton (Cream era), Duane Allman, the list goes on...