Not to be totally heartless or anything, but we have to keep in mind that fish also aren't people. We can give people morphine and drugs to keep them comfortable until death, but you can't do that for fish. It is better to end their suffering quickly and as painlessly as possible rather than let them die a slow death, especially if they are in pain. Personally, I think freezing isn't too inhumane. After all, even with humans the effect is that you get sleepy, close your eyes, and never open them again. I think the vodka/cloves method is also a pretty good way, since you're putting the fish to sleep. It's like euthanizing your dog when it is too far gone to help and in pain. It's far crueler to keep them alive in that condition than to let them go to sleep and not wake up.
Honestly, there really isn't a black-and-white solution to things like this. You could call it deciding which is the lesser of two evils. :(