Buy the oldest good camera you can find. That's not the only way to learn, but it is the best IMO.
Digital cameras are so easy to use as point & shoot that most people starting with them don't learn the basics. Plus they cost a small fortune for a quick obsolescence.
Also, due to a greatly diminished demands, film cameras are cheaper than ever, you can find a good Canon EOS 5/A2 for 50$ now (about 10X less than it was new). You can even find top of the line pro cameras for peanuts.
You need to cut all the crap till you can take a good photo without help, especially from the light meter. Yes, you heard me no meter; you learn to rely on rules of thumbs like sunny 16 and the judgment of your eyes.
Ideally, I would say a pre WW2 camera. Even better maybe would be a large format camera, but I admit I have no experience with them.
I have a 1950s Leica iiif and a 1930s Voigtlander folding medium format. I find that the Leica, with the incomparable Leitz lenses, is the best way to learn, it produces incredible haunting, delicate, warm, soft, glowing pictures that are not really re-producible with modern tools.
These collectibles too are much cheaper than before, there are also lots of Russian Leica copies which are of tolerable make.
Else, I agree with the posters that post-war "learners" cameras are quite great. They have meters but they do require you to learn your craft. I have a Cannon AE1, it is quite good and the optics are sharp.
There is also a very good range of rangefinders and other types of cameras like TLR, or medium format which can be found relatively cheaply. One of the cheapest options for basic medium format is to buy a Holga, a basic plastic box with a hole.
You can also find point & shoot rangefinders for next to nothing; some of them are quite good. You won't learn to control exposition, aperture...but you can take great pictures and work on composition, subject... I once had a Ricoh 1 P&S and the quality was quite good; it got me hooked to photos as a teen.
For more modern film cameras, I would recommend main brands. I am partial to Canon EOS; they are work horses and have good cheap lenses, though Nikon is similar and maybe a tiny bit better in some areas.
Though there is less to learn from them as they share many features with DSLR. The main thing is their cheapness; however for the big brands their lenses are compatible with the DSLR range, so the lenses are still pricey. On the other hand, if you later switch to a DSLR you get to re-use the lenses, so that can be economically efficient.
If you want a cheaper film system find brands, or older systems, that are not digitally compatible, then like the camera, they will be a lot cheaper than they where. Oh, and of course 1 fixed objective, you can throw away most zooms that you stumble upon. Your basic 50m or 80m is likely to outperform everything you find that is not of professional grade and priced in the thousands.
After you have mastered the basics then you can decide whether to go digital or not.
Though I prefer the look, and feel, of film, I have to say, there is one point where digital is great, that is "dark room" editing. You can manipulate your pictures as you wish and really make them your own.