You have to remove the cluster from the car to actually open it. You can't do it from the front like you are trying to do.
Don't panic, it's not that much more work, there are 2 x 10 mm bolts on the bottom, and 2 more on the top of the column that holds the whole pod in the car. Almost forgot the headlight switches and the trunk popper and defroster if you have that. Then you have to unlpug all three connectors and then the pod comes out. Then are are 4 or 5 x 7 mm bolts that hold the cluster into the pod. Then it will come out and you can remove the faceplate.
I did that from memory so I'm not 100% sure, but I've done it about 50 times.
[This message has been edited by jscott1 (edited 02-24-2008).]