As others have noted, if the call is <, the judges are supposed to subtract -1 or -2 from whatever GOE they would have given that jump without the underrotation. So if they found several things good about it aside from the underrotation, then +1-1 = 0 or +2-1 = +1 are valid scores.
For axel in particular the "step up" with the free leg is valued, and some amount of skid on the entry edge is considered a negative but acceptable within reason, without loss of alignment, since few skaters are able to achieve triple axel from a perfectly clean edge.
Would you call Patrick Chan's 3A technique good? Plushenko's air positions during the last OG left a lot to be desired, but it was crazy to see him adjust himself to land those things, so I would call his technique good.