Agreed. There's no point to calling it a World Cup if we don't see players, teams and cricketing stories that we don't get to see the rest of the time when we just play the top sides.A "world cup" has to contain more than just the top sides.
No-one complains that the football version contains about 24 sides who have absolutely no hope of winning.
The current format worked because it gave the associates plenty of time in the spotlight.
Incidentally, Evermind, I don't see how you decided the World Cricket League and the World Cup Qualifier tournaments don't count as "a pre-qualifying round or something".
The only issue I had with the current format was that there were far too many matches were the result almost didn't matter, because the group stage had so many matches. To me, there should be a maximum of four teams to a group.