No one has yet mentioned that Chopin's technique was behind Chopin's playing, which by all accounts was not as powerful as some of his contemporaries (Liszt, Thalberg, etc...)
Could it be that Chopin's approach to technique is not the only valid approach to piano playing? Liszt's approach seems to have been much different - observers were quick to point out his use of the arms.
It seems to me that many of the recent discussions on arm weight and hand position assume that there is one "best" approach that achieves the greatest artistic products with the most physiological efficient motions.
I would suggest that there are several approaches that are physiologically and artistically valid. Just as Andras Schiff's and Glenn Gould's Bach recordings are both different and illuminating from an artistic standpoint, why can't we bring ourselves to believe that the different physical processes that produce them are also valid?
Couldn't agree more. The only thing I'd rule out is the such ridiculous ideas as those that exclude the notion that active finger grip can ever be of benefit and that weight should never be deployed through the fingers. Aside from the fact that this is scientifically implausible, it's a tremendous limit to impose on anyone.
Beyond that, the possibilities are virtually limitless. The more different ways of moving you can learn, the better. Anything that restricts you to only hitting the keys from a height or only playing from immediate finger pressure is just that- a restriction. Learn to control as many different approaches as possible, and you can do whatever you want.
PS. It's also worth noting that Chopin was extremely jealous of how Liszt played his etudes. I don't believe this was purely in terms of accuracy etc. Chopin made a number of interesting observations, but who is to say they represent the ultimate secret to the most functional mechanism possible?