I suppose you're right. I think the main problem with cleanse is that it makes the game a bit too easy in some situations. "I'll gank ashe or morg any day, I'll just cleanse their ults when or if they use it on me. And if they don't use it on me, I'll still have my cleanse ready!". I think to make it more balanced and "skillful", Cleanse should grant a whatever-second immunity to snares/stuns/slows/debuffs, but it shouldn't REMOVE them from you. That way, you would have to be much more careful and anticipate and predict more often. Did you see Ashe fire her arrow? activate cleanse to be immune to it before it hits. Getting ready to gank Ryze and don't want to be snared? Activate Cleanse for the 3-second immunity just before heading in.
When a Melee hero gets exhausted, he just has to run and wait it out before he can hit again. If I have my Cleanse active, Ashe would just have to wait it out before my immunity wears of and THEN use her arrow.
You hear of people commenting on "nice flash getaway", or "healed us just in time, nice". When someone cleanses, it's just "ooh ffs". But with this new idea of a cleanse, it would be regarded as more skillful and wellplayed.
Personally, I think it's just a matter of paying attention to who has cleanse and whether it's on CD or not. If you're playing Malzahar and you know Ashe has cleanse but you haven't seen her use it recently, then don't blow your ult on her. Wait until you see her waste it on a more spammable CC, then go in and ult her. Yeah, that means you need to pay attention or talk to your teammates, but I don't think it's too hard.