I am playing around with building a simple mobile up. I’d like to write it in Angular and try to make it look Material.
PhoneGap/Cordova takes care of the actual phone API, simply including angular.js into the project gives me Angular and ngMaterial helps with the material design. Where does Ionic fit into this equation? What am I loosing by not using Ionic. Is it taking the part of PhoneGap/Cordova in my breakdown above?

@americanslon did you found an answer for this. I have read several discussions.
Here he says angular material does not play well with ionic.

Also but

here in this thread @siddhartha has an Excellent angular material combined with ionic.

Have you decided Something about it?
angular-material + ionic or angular-material + cordova?