Judo is an excellent art. Just make sure that the kind of Judo you learn for self-defense isn't Olympic Judo, which mainly emphasizes Ippon throws.
By the way, I tend to agree with you about use of certain techniques against less than "lethal" opponents.
Just because someone is acting stupid doesn't mean that I can take him down and beat him silly or break elbows and knees.
That's why I like chokes. They render the opponent in relatively painless unconsciousness, but no permanent harm is done (except a few lost brain cells, maybe).
Of course, the best thing to do is to simply leave. But I also understand that sometimes that is not feasible.
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu