I was referring to the other poster but since you asked...I did read your entire post but still wonder.....who exactly advertised it as an IRW board, the dealer or Gibson, and how did you determine it wasn't IRW? Defective bridge? What was up with that. Point being that you say "I expect more from the Custom Shop", but, at least 2 of the issues you mention have nothing to do with the Custom Shop at all.
And many here are only stating what their experiences are. There are a lot of dealers and sponsors here that you can get a great Les Paul, accurate information, and great service from without paying ANY extra, and less than MAP.I was referring to the other poster but since you asked...
The dealer was the one that "confirmed" that it had an IRW board yet the label on the original carton was pretty explicit:
I think some of you guys forget what the post was about. I was only stating my recent experiences with a couple new Les Pauls and would gladly pay a little more to a place like WW. I also own a WW 10 I bought used from WW and it is flawless. Maybe some other folks who have recent buying experiences can chime in?
I did read what you posted .....Well.....I've had to return the last two non-WW recent R9s for various QA issues. Cracked pickguard, gummy neck, defective bridge, pau ferro board but advertised as Indian RW, etc. Never had that problem when I deal with WW. I think WW gets the top tier stuff and charges a bit more. YMMV.
That said, I do think the pricing is getting a little out of control. Great time to buy used.