I am definitely a collector and decided long a go that whatever I collect (and I don't just collect cameras) should have a fairly tightly defined criteria. Within this criteria it is usually my aim to collect everything available, or as much as is economically feasible. If I know that something will just sit on the shelf then I am just as happy with a non-working example. If I have a choice at the time of purchase then I might spend a little more to get a better looking example of something, but if I already own it then I won't "upgrade" to nicer one. If it comes in multiple colours then I will buy all colours but generally draw the line at "collector's editions".
To give you an idea, I collect Pentax 6x7 bodies, lenses and accessories (and generally speaking draw the line at 500mm), Pentax MX and all accessories, the rest of the Pentax M and K series bodies (but not lenses) and Schneider Symmar lenses (but not the newer APO and APO-L lenses). The Pentax M and K bodies have been my bottom feeder moment with a lot of them being sub $20 bodies from KEH's as-is section and if I had to pay the usual price of a working body I probably wouldn't have bothered.
No more than 500mm. The 600/4 and 800/4 are big, heavy, expensive and prone to chromatic aberrations. The M* 800/6.7 is much better but even more expensive. The 1000/7 or 1000/8 reflex probably only exists in a display case back at Pentax HQ. The M* 300 and M* 400 also fall into the category of too expensive, but I can live in hope of fluking a bargain one day.
I buy cameras that look cool and that I can afford at the time
they don't have to work..but they must be complete
I typically look for 50's-60's rangefinders..but have been known to stray
I only buy what I need. On occasion I get free stuff.
I only collect cameras that work and that I can use. Most of them are Voigtlanders and Zeiss Ikons but not entirely. The most I have paid so far is £25.00 and for that I have obtained some excellent cameras.
My only criterion (apart from usability) is that they must be well made. The only cheap and nasty I have is my Kodak Brownie Vecta that I was given when I was 12.
I have attempted to be a collector, started with Miranda then got bored with collecting. On the up side I have a very usable collection of EEs with the exception of the 180mm all of the prime lens for the EE which I do use often. Last year I bought a Canon T90 and a few fews, but just sold the kit as I just did not use often enough.
I don't plan on buying another camera for a long time. My approach is very pragmatic, and I only feel like I need to have one camera.
My Hasselblad 500 and three lenses was a birthday gift from my parents. How lucky is that? I don't feel like I need that camera, but it sure is nice to have, and it is such a joy to use. I could probably stand getting another body for it, and a back-up couple of lenses, but I'm very happy with what I've got.
The Leica M2 was offered to me a couple of years ago at a price I could not turn down. I can't fault that camera, and in addition to the Hasselblad it's hard to find a reason to actually need another camera. One stellar 6x6 and one stellar 35mm.
So, why I have kept my 35mm Pentax gear, containing a couple of KX bodies, six lenses, a Spotmatic with a 58mm Helios, a ZeroImage 2000 pinhole, a 5x7 Century, and a Rollei 35SE I have no idea. But I guess it's fun to shoot macro with the Pentax, the Spotmatic is just a cool camera, the little Rollei is a superb little pocket sized camera, and pinhole and 5x7 is entertaining and used to shake it up a little.
I guess my criteria for buying another camera would be that it would have to fill a function my existing cameras can't. I can't see what that would possibly be, but perhaps some day I'd get really interested in interior architecture, for example, needing a 4x5 with crazy movements. That sort of thing.
I have about 10 cameras, but it is only when I take the M2 out do I feel I have to do some serious work. I never have time to use all the others and often think about selling one or two. However, when I pick them up and enjoy the tactile sensation of their mechanics and admire their individual design, I just put them away again. There is no hope for me with my desire of some cameras. Incidentally, I have always fancied having a go with a Zeiss Ikon Bullseye, but have never owned one and of course a Reid and Sigrist, but if I ever got one of those my M2 may sulk with jealousy.