I have also tried several hours to get that A/C unit out. I have tried all described ways above but there was no way.
Yesterday I have found out the solution for it and it was very simple and the opposite of all the ways above :-) It is not to pull it out from the front but to push it out from the back. So just remove your glove box, feel the climate control back panel by your hand and push it out to the front. Do it side by side. First left, then right.
So you will get the A/C unit out within less minutes and without damaging anything.