Ryan, almost every Gibson I've ever played has been a Les Paul, and yes, I do have a good ear, and yes, I hated the sound of the Les Paul. And if you think a Jackson Charvel is forgiving, you've never played one of those. You mess up even slightly on one of those, you hear it.
As for not liking the sound, it's like Shane said... different guitars for different types of music. The classic rock and hard rock guitarists tend to like Gibson, Ibanez, and the like. But the super heavy bands almost invariably play Jackson, ESP, and BC Rich. There must be a reason for that.
I think Jackson and ESP have a much cleaner resonance that lends itself well to high distortion. The Gibbys that I've played all sounded hollow... a bit too much treble, even with the treble switch off. But, like I said, I've mostly only played the Les Paul.
What about Ibanez? Anyone ever played one of those? I hate their 6 strings, but their bass guitars are the best on earth.
Shane - You're right about the Yamaha/Peavey combo. That can be pretty deadly, and Peavey makes great amps. They are no Mesa Boogie or Marshall, but for the price, they're fabulous.