So I also had this problem, and when I started prying with a screw driver, I broke the socket some. After some trying to get it out then, I ended up crushing the plastic socket with my vice grips. It then broke in small enough pieces that they fell into the big plastic outer piece, and I was able to just dump them out. This didn't even crack the burnt out bulb.
Then I was able to attach the new bulb and with some duct tape, get the whole thing back together working fine.
So, my advice is, go ahead and force it and it it cracks, you'll at least be able to change that burnt out bulb and get it working so you don't get a ticket. :-)