Well, a friend of mine is making a baby blanket. 150+ stitches. Design is hearts done with yarn overs.
Somehow (pattern problems, user error, whatever) she has lost 8 stitches. She thinks she needs to rip out 25 rows and reknit.
I think she should just systematically do increases across the width and forget about it.
So, I guess my opinion is if the lost stitches constitute less than 10% of the stitches and the object is large enough the problem is not visible to all but the most fastidious of observers (I certainly dont see any decrease in width or irregularity in the pattern in the blanket) then do what you can toget the stitch count back and go foreward.
If you want a machine knit item, go buy it.
Knitting for most of us is for pleasure and the warm glow that comes with knowing we did it ourselves. If we're stressing over something small, its not worth it.
Call it a "design element" if you need to.