I do agree that I also prefer the clean edit. (I just threw this together last night). The final image I presented to the clients was the top right. The SOOC was a little underexposed as it was taken in shady woods with the sun behind the trees. I did use a few actions at low opacities including some workflow actions to finalize the clean edit also, but nothing really intense. But you’re right, actions will not save a really bad image. It is about getting it right (or very close to right) in-camera. I think that is how most professionals use them. I see a lot of fauxtogs start using actions on a really bad photo, at full-blast, and end up with something that looks like instagram.