You're probably right Gygax himself would have made the poison insta kill
And yes with the afterlife being known you wonder how anyone chooses an evil path. (And yeah, better to get a leg up in the hierarchy) Also makes you wonder how evil organizations recruit in the realms: "Join the Zentarium! It's been __ days since some brave adventurers last burned us to the ground"
Likely a fair number choose evil because they think they can beat the odds. They dont think THEY willl end up as a lemure, dretch, larvae, or whatever. No, no, they're imp material at least! Or at least they get a good time in the noob zone before Plus look at what the goody two shoes get for their lifetime of selflessness, sacrifice and toil.... a lantern archon! Some barely sentient ball of light toiling away in the afterlife for the greater good!