All braking systems have advantages and limitations.
A long story short:
- Skip cable brakes altogether
- If you want outstanding braking force - get hydraulic disc brakes.
- If you want the lowest maintenance brakes with great stopping power get hydraulic rim brakes.
These days, most bikes have either rim brakes or disc brakes, and they can be hydraulically actuated or using a low tech cable. Disc brakes have the most stopping power in all weather conditions - they can be a little fussy to adjust vs rim brakes, and rim brakes have slightly better modulation (more subtle braking force). So as your pads wear on cable brakes, you need to adjust the cable around every 200 miles so the lever doesn't end up at the handlebar, leaving you without brakes. Hydraulic brakes (for both disc and rim) not only greatly increase the brakes squeezing power - they also require less frequent adjustments because the lever doesn't need to be pressed as far to close hydraulic brakes.