Sometimes others hate my interpretations, but I honestly don't care. I believe it was Liszt who said that sheet music should only be used as a guideline in finding your own interpretation of a piece.
And it was Chopin that told him, as he was playing Chopin's music, to please play only what was on the page.
The Chopin Rubato is special. For example, Chopin thought you should really stick to the sheet music for the left-hand bar in his polonaises, and that you apply rubato with the right hand.
Not just the polonaises - everything! Except the mazurkas, which had such an accent on the second beat that it lasted nearly two beats (this caused Chopin's contemporaries no small amount of frustration).
I've heard a couple of performances where pianists would apply rubato all over the piece and those sounded awefully, so be careful.
I agree that it tends to sound awful when the tempo is much abused in Chopin - the rhythm and particularly the syncopation loses all its meaning (except to those who know how the piece is written) when the tempo is not kept. But at the same time, it is extremely difficult to keep tempo and express oneself in the melodic hand at the same time - very few can pull it off. So the rubato that abuses the tempo has become accepted in Chopin's music, because it is preferable to a mechanical interpretation.