I can't comment on what the best system is for a beginner, but I did want to comment on the portion quoted. I realize I might be different from the norm but I never use any of the auto features on my camera. I hadn't even had my first roll of film developed when I switched over to full manual on my Minolta Maxxum 50QD. I've never considered going back - not even to use aperture or shutter priority. It's an auto-focus camera but I still manually focus all my shots. I have two zoom lenses but restrict myself to using a small list of specific focal lengths. I do not randomly change the focal length per shot but rather choose a focal length to work with as I view something I would like to photograph, I then set my lens to that setting and do my best to make it work. I actually get rather frustrated when I unthinkingly adjust the focal length rather than the focus - because then I have to stop and make sure to reset it to the chosen focal length before I am willing to proceed. I set of prime lenses would fix that little annoyance.
Originally Posted by modafoto
I think how the camera is used depends very much on the person using it and what they specifically want to get out of photography. If the person has a desire and is committed to learning, all the features in the world are not going to get in their way.