Strictly from a final viewer's perspective, ignoring workflow for right now. At a glance do we appreciate the depth glass can bring to an image? Or would raw color and dynamic range from the sensor be appreciated sooner?
If you're asking about the average viewer, then I doubt either would make a massive difference in their appreciation of the finished product. I think great locations, strong compositions, and good lighting would matter more.
Now, there are some images that a fast prime lens can make which a slow zoom simply cannot. Same with a camera that has a wide dynamic range versus one which clips very quickly. And some cameras can can capture a wider range of colors than others. So in that sense some equipment can help you out to a noticeable degree, but it's really situation-dependent.
If you're asking what a cinematography-savvy viewer would appreciate in an image, then I think they would notice image problems first. If there are no obvious problems, then I think the actual work of framing and lighting would stand out. Then over time, some might pick up on the lovely character of a particular lens, the smooth highlight rolloff of the sensor, or unusually deep color response.
Some obvious image issues:
1. Dynamic range - harshly clipped highlights that would normally be there. Also, excess color noise in the shadows.
2. Colors - skewed or unnatural colors, especially in skin tones or other recognizable subjects that we see every day.
3. Soft focus - an image that is slightly out of focus, or just seems to be consistently mushy without anything ever coming into focus.
4. Too sharp - seeing every pore and wrinkle on someone's face, every fly-away strand of hair.
5. Imaging artifacts - moiré, aliasing, macro-blocking.
6. Lens distortion - bowing lines which should be straight, faces looking fat or skewed, circles looking ovoid.
7. Rolling shutter/motion cadence artifacts - too much/too little motion blur, skewing distortion on moving objects, partially exposed frames from flash bulbs, flickering monitors and fluorescent lighting.
Now, you could use each of these things to artistic effect, but without context most viewers would find these images distracting. Once you are working with gear that isn't causing unintentional distractions or isn't getting in your way, then I don't think the specifics matter as much.