Let me preface this by saying first, you bring up some good points. That being said however, I must set my thoughts down in response. I'll go after the same points, but in a much wordier style, as I have writing to catch up on. Hopefully, I come through just as clear.
Your first point (lack of hard drive space) is honestly not that big of an issue. The Wii doesn't actually have a hard drive in it. The system contains 512 megabytes of flash storage, in order to cut down on space and weight restrictions. While it is annoying, they did provide the very nice option of using SD cards. You say that this option costs an appreciable amount, but a little poking around shows that the price is actually comparable to that of your proposed solution, namely an external hard disk.
For the XBOX360, a 20 gig external hard disk costs around seventy Dollars US. Ten 2 gig SD cards will set you back the same amount, assuming you know where to shop. I checked TigerDirect, and they have 2GB cards selling for as little as $5.99, which is cheaper than the hard disk. It does even out when you look at the shipping, so I have to say that your solution is no cheaper than what already exists.
However, what your solution DOES provide is easy access to an entire library. Rather than having to remember what games are on which card, you have them all in one convenient place. Unfortunately, having that external hard disk cuts down on the portability of the system. The portability, while not explicitly stated, is one of the selling points of the Wii. If I need to pad out this post more, I may address it later.
Onwards to your second point!
You say that the Wii online experience does not compare to that which is offered by other systems. This is true. However, Nintendo does not charge for what it does provide. And besides, Nintendo only provides servers for games that were developed by Nintendo. Game development companies are the ones in charge of servers and multiplayer content. The only fault that lies with Nintendo would be the fact that they are not actively calling for developers to make such games.
The reason they are not doing so is because of the target demographic. I will touch back on this point in a little bit. I said up there that it is not Nintendo's fault that there are not enough multiplayer games that support online play. However, it IS Nintendo's fault that there is not enough online multiplayer of the type that you are looking for. As with the target demographic, this will be elaborated upon in the next piece.
Follow me to the final argument!
Alright, I've got a hunch about something, and I have to do some digging to confirm it. And yes, my digging and research confirms it. Not going to do any number crunching, though, because it is 0200 and I don't want to. Hopefully this will help you understand why Nintendo seems to be disappointing you. It's really a simple reason, and you probably won't believe it at first, but I'll take my chances.
The reason Nintendo is offering up trite and crappy rehashes of old games, stupid pet games, and movie games is because they always have. Well, not exactly always. Just ever since they stopped focusing on playing cards, and started focusing on the home entertainment system aspect. Yes, ever since the beginning Nintendo has offered crappy games inspired by Movies, Television, tabletop RPGs, and even athletes.
Not only that, but their main focus used to be solely on people aged 14 and under. This can be proven by taking a look at the titles they have offered throughout the years. It's not that they no longer want you to play their games, it's that you no longer want them. The history of their systems shows this. They have branched out to reach the casual gamer and the older generations, but at their heart they are still a company that develops videogames for children.
Nintendo fills a niche. That niche is the New Gamer. By 'new' I mean not too terribly far away from still sleeping with a night light. Historically, this has worked for them. In fact, Nintendo has that market so very well covered that no other company really even tries to take that market share from them anymore. They are not a company that embraces violence, gore, and mayhem. If you want those things, go to the 360 or PS3.
They have remained constant over the years. It's incredibly difficult for a company such as Nintendo to broaden it's customer base, and they have been doing so incredibly well. They make great games, as they always have. Unfortunately, people change, and their tastes change. Such is what seems to have happened with you.
Think back. What is the last Nintendo game you played that allows you to go on a murderous rampage where blood fills the screen and the screams of the dying blast out of your speakers? Manhunt 2? The Godfather? Red Steel? All three of them from the Wii title list, and all three a radical departure from the traditional fair offered by Nintendo year after year. Quite frankly, be amazed that they exist on the console at all.
You say that the situation is sad, because you used to love Nintendo. What changed? I can assure you that it was not Nintendo that changed, but yourself. You grew out of the games that Nintendo offers. They have remained constant in a sea of change. The fact that you no longer wish for their games is not a failing on their part. It is as inevitable as... umm... something that you can't avoid.
Let's look at this from another point of view if I haven't convinced you yet. Look at the offerings of Sony and Microsoft. How many of those titles would you say are directed towards people in the 6 to 12 age range? I would say about as many games as you can find on the Wii marketed to the 16 to 22 year olds. Without Nintendo, there will be nobody to usher the next generation of gamers into the joys of playing. It helps if you think of Nintendo as training wheels.
In summation: The storage problem isn't one, a good online community is not (directly) Nintendo's fault, and they didn't abandon you, you just grew out of what they can offer you.