Originally Posted by bear
I pretty much agree, but I think it's less a question of bending the rules than that the rules were flexible to begin with. Yui certainly was outside of the parameters of the game, for example. Asuna moving while paralyzed appeared to be a cheat, but then she was made an immortal object by Kayaba which was not in the standard rule book either. Unexpected interactions between functions is not uncommon in programming, so immortality allowing her to overcome her paralysis seems reasonable. As for Kirito moving while dead, consider the fact that he sees the message "you're dead". It's seems that Kayaba is one sadistic dude. He set the game so that people see that they're going to die by rubbing it in. Then, there is a short gap before he kills them so they get to absorb the fact. How many people in that situation are going to try to do something? Not many. That was the loophole that Kayaba didn't realize was available to Kirito. With his speed there was just enough time to kill Kayaba and end the game. Kayaba kept underestimating Kirito's abilities by assuming that only the game abilities which he programmed were usable by the players. He didn't realize that Kirito had also worked to improve his reaction times beyond the standard abilities. So at least from my POV the events were reasonable.
In general I think I agree with you, barring a few little details. Like, Yui was an AI, part of the SAO system, so that's within the parameters of the game, even if the normal rules didn't apply to her the way they applied to the rest of the players. Also, it's widely thought that the "Chaged into Immortal Object" [sic] icon is more of a typo/Engrish issue, and what it was supposed to represent was Heathcliff turning the immortality status off of himself for the dual (hence it turned red). So he likely didn't make Asuna immortal (because she subsequently did run out of HP and disappear).
We already know that there is a gap between when you "die" (your HP hits zero) and when you disappear, because we've seen many occasions where people put in last words, and even move their bodies around a bit. We also know that there was a resurrection item mentioned earlier in the anime that allowed you to revive someone for up to 10 seconds after they "died". So yeah, "death" isn't instantaneous. And even after you disappear in the SAO world, it doesn't necessarily mean you brain fries right that very second either (or that it's instantaneous). We can assume that, after Asuna disappeared from the boss room, she was sent to the sky platform, to await Kirito who followed. Perhaps this is because this was all part of the end-game sequence, and they were the designated end-game players... or perhaps it was simply what was set to happen to anyone who is killed by the GM.
In either case, I think the main objection people have is that it's just not clearly explained, so you're left having to either a) try to figure out for yourself how it could have been possible, or b) just having to accept that the rules can simply be exceeded/broken when it's convenient for the storytelling. Personally it all didn't bother me too much because I liked the way the episode worked from an emotional and poetic point of view (and I can accept the general premise that willpower can override the constraints a program tries to place on your mind's ability to control your body in a VR world), but I do understand why it bothered some people.