For most of my cooking life I lived by Jeff Smiths mantra, hot pan, cold oil. I did it because he said that is how to do it. This year I started thinking the way Andy mentioned...How does the food know? I also saw on Americas test Kitchen that they recommend heating the pan and oil together so that you can tell when the oil has come up to the right temp, otherwise you run the risk of getting the pan too hot and then adding the oil. When you heat them together you can watch the change take place in the oil and know when it is ready.
What I have taken away from all of that is (for me) it does not matter. Both ways work. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but neither is better or worse than the other.