There is, of course, a learning cuve, but I think early in the learning process when you're getting used to a new piece of equipment, there are often signs that tell you a fair amount about how you'll get along with it in the long run. For example, even with all sorts of initial dificulties, I took to large format from the start. Meanwhile, some of my classmates at OU couldn't stand to be in the same room with a view camera after three years of shooting with one. They hated it at the start, hate it now.
And of course when you're starting out in photography in general, its harder to know what works for you because you're still learning the technical aspects of everything. I guess I'm thinking more in terms of the things we choose to work with once we've gotten fairly well established in our work, technique, etc.