Rotation problems observed when importing scenes (2.33)

I’m importing scenes from library-files. The objects are complex machine models, with many parenting relationships.

Before saving, I’m careful to apply size/rotation before constructing the parenting relationships for the final build. Nonetheless, I observe that when importing the scene (I’m appending, not linking), the rotation of the parent objects is often skewed, and the child objects are thus pointing in “crazy” directions. Fortunately, selecting the parent and choosing “Clear Rot” fixes it.

But the scene, as saved, and the scene as it appears when imported, does not look the same. I believe that it should?