I've replaced my driver's side door handle twice (I have a 98) and it wasn't necessary for me to remove the entire door panel. I just unscrewed the entire plastic handle backing, hooked the metal piece onto the back, screwed the new in.
I hope that makes sense to you. It was very simple and took about 10 minutes.
I'm sure you're not as "thrifty" as I am, but be sure to get new handles. I used the ones from my back doors for my front (my car is my office, never use for passengers), and they didn't hold up well at all.
Hope this helps.
Monday, June 4th, 2007 AT 11:03 PM