And so, yet again, I am humbled and recognize that I don't have nearly the artistic talent that many have. And that my Gear Acquisition Syndrome should be toned back a bit. Just...wow.
Well it depends upon what you shoot. If you are trying for some mind-blowing sports action shots shooting with some hipstamatic thingy might not work out as well.
Depends what you like and want to do, he likes the faded instagram look and heavy photo manip and semi-contrived scene type and nothing else. I'm not really into that so much myself, seems a bit over the top and contrived to me, but plenty love that sort of thing (especially photo contests, where anything not all hyper set up like that often gets a quick boot, which I do think is a shame, but whatever), but if you are then yeah another $10,000 L or two more 1DX probably won't do much for you. Experimenting and getting a lot of practice and skill with photoshop might.
And yeah you can certainly take amazing shots, tons of them, with practically whatever. It just depends if you care about taking other types of shots where some more details in teh foliage at the edges or more apparent texture in the mosses and barks or more ability to nail high-speed random action at low DOF or some or not (even then yeah you can use something like a 20D and less than a super-tele and get some pretty amazing action shots, absolutely without question, but you will also be regularly annoyed at the shots you missed and didn't have to miss, yeah some are on you, but some are on a camera too; give a top pro a 20D and I guarantee he blows more shots than with his own equipment and if make it a night game and give him f/5.6 lens you also get a lot more grain and junk but he probably has a much better take with a 20D and a 70-200 f/4 than a beginner, especially one without all that much innate talent, using a 1DX and 300 2.8; for something like basket ball for the 20D really struggled and add in say a 70-300 f/4-f/5.6 and no strobe access and give a decent relative newcomer a 1DX and a 70-200 2.8 and strobes and I bet the latter might end up with a better take though).