The whole quote about "the best camera is the one in your hands" is not exactly a sound statement in my opinion. A good camera that connects with you and invites you to go outside and use it is actually the best camera you can get. Now i'm not trying to say that getting a camera with the highest specs is the way to go, all I'm saying is that you don't need that high spec camera to take great photos. However, you do need to have a camera that can do the basic necessary functions without it being too much of a burden to use. A burdensome camera is not a fun camera to use, and no fun means less shooting.
At the minimum, I personally prefer to have manual controls over the camera, namely Shutter speed, Aperture, and Focus. Regardless if Digital or Analog these primary control functions are essential in learning and growing as a photographer because it gives you more control over the final result. But in the end, although it's the final result that is more important, it's gonna be harder to get that final result if the tools you use are not making you happy and are just collecting dust. If this happens, sell it or pass it down to a family member. A camera thats only collecting dust is a camera you probably don't connect with, look for a new one that speaks to you.
For the people who are looking to get a new camera (may it be your first or not), do your research. Don't jump the gun just because your favorite photographer has the same one (*cough* *cough* Leica *coughs again*). Kidding aside, research the different brands and to who they're marketed to because you might purchase a camera that not mean for what you want to do.
Also, don't be blinded by specs, because they're not everything . Creativity will always beat specs. It's also helpful to know what you want to use the camera for (it could be for video production, street photography, landscapes, portraits) because it's going to be easier to find out what kind of camera is best for you.
Oh by the way, for the street photography newbies out there, DSLRs and Point and Shoots aren't the only cameras out there. Theres also a type of camera called a Rangefinder, I knew I found that out late and regretted not knowing about it sooner. Look it up. [Perceptions - March 14, 2021]