Originally Posted by anm
Collecting cameras for collecting's sake is something I just don't understand and it drives the prices up for those who just want to take photos. It's your decision, though... if you really want to be a collector, don't let us stop you. I have a little "collection" myself, but I never bought anything I didn't plan to use. I don't need several mechanical SLRs, but I do need a compact 35mm viewfinder, one mechanical and one electronic 35mm SLR and one MF SLR. If I could afford it, I'd have a LF view camera too, but I'd use every one of those regularly.
And which ones are inevitable depends completely on your taste and what kind of collection you'd like. Leica and Hasselblad are pretty high on the list for their iconic status and great build quality. Some people like to collect every variation of a single camera or everything from a single brand, others just like to have as many different types and brands as possible.
As a little tip: Just go to every flea market, car boot sale, and so on and see what you like. Some prefer Leicas, some prefer the Argus C series or all the high end Canon EOS. Your Choice.
Personally, I really like all the cameras from Dresden/Germany, where I live. It was the camera-capital of Europe for many years and there are some really nice cameras and lenses, especially from Pentacon (not to be confused with the Pentagon ). They're probably a little hard to get on the other side of the big lake, though.