To me, I think all of it is important, meaning no one reaction is "right" but many reactions are possible. One of the inherent problems with atemi is that too often I have seen it being taught in such a way that the nage does not understand that there are times when someone on the street may actually know how to turn your act of atemi against you. That's one of the reasons atemi is a "two-edged sword" so to speak. I sometimes teach responses to this kind of situation. The last thing you want is for the roles to reverse and because the nage becomes "too aggressive" with atemi they become the uke.
This brings up another point. When someone's technique will only work because if the uke doesn't respond in a certain way they will get hit, they run the risk of being reversed by someone who knows how to fight.