I just sufferd a similar fate on the driver's door of a '97 Lumina.
In my case the rod from the lock cylinder to the door latch detached from the cylinder. Simply the weight of the rod and its latch lever was enough to keep the door locked even when I tried to unlock it using the inside lock lever.
I was able to remove enough of the interior door panel to reach inside the door and lift up on the rod (there are a total of four rods attached to the latch in our car). While holding the rod up, I was able to open the door normally. I'm still working on how to replace the small plastic "nut" that retains the rod in the cylinder lever. I hate plastic parts!
Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 AT 7:30 PM