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Best defence to a possibly-short 1C?

Over an artificial strong 1 opening, it seems best to play an artificial defence (e.g. CRASH, Truscott). Over a natural 1, we need Double for take-out and a natural 1NT overcall. But what's best against a possibly-short 1, e.g Polish Club or a modern natural 5542 system? Should it be treated as natural, or as a weak NT? Does the frequency with which it might be short matter? E.g. if 1  is short only when exactly 4-4-3-2, should our defensive methods be different than when 1 is opened on all balanced hands outside 1NT range?

(Anticipating a comment, I know that I could have set this up as a poll, but I'm more interested in a reasoned debate than in finding out what's most popular) 

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