Best solution (I think)
First time I replaced the interior door handle took me 4 hours. Second time 15 minutes. Here's how I did it:
1) remove screw holding interior door handle mechanism onto the door.
2) pull outside door handle open and stuff a rag under it to hold the door latch open. This moves the latch rod forward at least 1 inch and gives you more finger room.
3) pull the inside latch mechanism out and tilt it downward so that you can remove the top retainer with your fingers. You may be able to push a long skinny object between the clip and the rod to pop the clip loose. I used a long small screw driver while I pulled on the clip with my finger. Remove the top clip first because that allows you to pull the mechanism out even farther to remove the bottom clip.
4) on the new door handle remove the top plastic retainer clip to get it out of the way. Do this by pinching the bottom of the clip with pliers to make it small enough to pull the retainer clip out of the mechanism. This gives you another inch of finger room.
5) you can now use your fingers and hold your mouth just right while you maneuver the bottom rod into the bottom clip of the new door latch. I used needle nose pliers to clamp the clip in place on the rod after I finagled the rod downward into the latch.
6) put the top plastic clip back into the mechanism by just pressing it into the hole it came out of.
7) tilt the mechanism downward while you place the top rod into the clip. Push the clip onto the rod with your fingers.
Note: removing the inside door panel is no benefit. (At least on my '93 it was no help. I removed it the first time, it was a waste of time.) The mechanism with the red colored clips goes on the driver's side - green clips, passenger side. I don't know if it matters but the first time I bought the cheapest door latch handle I could find. This time I bought the most expensive one I could find. I hope it doesn't break.