It depends heavily on what you're cooking.
For Indian or central Asian styles of cooking, for example, the spices get tempered in the hot oil first, and the oil absolutely needs to be heated first. The aromatics (ginger, garlic) go in after the hard spices (ie: cumin seed, mustard seed, cinnamon stick, star anise, bay leaf, dry chilli, etc), which only take about 10-20 seconds. Tempering just doesn't really work that well if you throw everything in and bring the heat up slowly.
The hard spices have some water content, but you don't want it to all ooze out slowly between 100C and 200C because that water is what prevents the spices from burning. For things like mustard seed you also need the moisture to heat up quickly so that the seeds pop. They should hit the 200C oil with all their moisture intact so that they fizz up quickly - the waning of which really helps with timing when to throw in the wet aromatics to crash the temperature and halt the temper (before things burn).
Southeast asian cooking generally starts with aromatics first (ginger, garlic, scallion), and that's usually done with cold oil added to a hot pan with aromatics following a few seconds later, just as the oil begins to smoke. Adding cold oil to a hot pan also helps prevent sticking, which is nice if you cook on steel. This style of cooking is often fast and very high heat, so you want to get it done quickly before things lose their crisp and colour. You can start with cold oil in a cold pan here, but it makes timing more difficult unless you're cooking through paper-thin steel over 100kBTU. With water in the aromatics the oil never really gets hot enough for that scalding hot initial-contact. Not at least until you've reduced the aromatics to pan stickings.
Really, it's not hard to try it both ways and see what you like. Other styles of cooking will have different needs that may be more or less amenable to a slack approach with the oil temperature.