you can buy better gear but you can't buy a better eye
Lousy photographer + best, most expensive camera&lens + good opportunity to take shot = lousy photo
Excellent photographer + best, most expensive camera&lens + good opportunity to take shot = good photo
Excellent photographer + average price and quality camera&lens + good opportunity to take shot = good photo
Excellent photographer + best, most expensive camera&lens + no opportunity to take shot = no photo at all
Price of gear is an indication of quality. But only up to a point. Beyond that, extreme high prices of gear is a mix of marketing, brand equity and a chance to display ostentatiously that "我有钱".
gear still matters. but the thing is many users have overkilled gears. lol.
It's a common phenomenon in mature economies. There are tons of stuff that people buy more than what they need. 500bhp sports cars, 10,000 sq ft penthouse, tourbillon on grand complications watches, hermes exotic skin bags etc. Camera gear is but one of them.
most people have too little knowledge on what is "good enough" on physical thing, like gears
so it is always better to get "more than enough" than "good enough",
but on things you can't really see, too abstract, like skills, creativity,
very little people willing to spend efforts and money on it, as it can't really being measure,
so why spending money and efforts on you can't be sure what will you get and where will you be in the end?
unlike gears, you spend 1k you get this, spend 5k you get that, spend 20k you sure will get a WOW.
but when you have the skills, whatever you spend on gears at this point of time, compare to whatever efforts and money you have spent on getting your skills, is really noting.
hope this make sense to you.
Only when you know you are doing, will you know what is limiting you in the photos you want to create in your vision. Only then, you will undersrand what you really need and when you spend those big bucks The purchases will be for a purpose to achieve your vision.