Although getting to the final is obviously better then getting out in the first round, as a fan it's not so close cut that you'd take a (grand)final loss everytime. They hurt alot and you never, ever forget them. I'd rather come 3rd or 4th, maybe. Those you forget and move on, but a final or a Grand Final you don't. You think about what would have been, how close you got before failing, especailly if you don't win for years to come or this is the last opporunity with this group of players. The players might feel the same way as well.
But re: the discussion here, I don't think Australia humilated Sri Lanka at all. Besides Gilchrist, none of the Australian batsmen were amazing and the Sri Lankan reply was excellent before the break. I was really worried there for a time and it's the first time I've been for the whole tournament (bar Smith and AB firing in the Super 8s). Not humiliated by any means.
Rest In Peace Craigos