Wales have already achieved their best World Cup performance since the inaugural tournament in New Zealand 24 years ago when they finished third.
But Warburton and company have designs on rugby union's greatest prize - the Webb Ellis Trophy - after dumping out quarter-final rivals Ireland 22-10 in a pulsating clash.
Wales outscored their fierce RBS 6 Nations rivals 3-1 on tries, with touchdowns by wing Shane Williams, scrum-half Mike Phillips and centre Jonathan Davies leaving them one win away from the final.
Less than a year ago, Wales were held 16-16 at home by Fiji, which underlines their startling resurgence during 2011 - a time that could yet culminate in them becoming the greatest Welsh team of all-time.
"It's a great feeling," captain Warburton said. "I was just smiling walking off the pitch. We are here for another two weeks now.
"Seeing all the fans cheering on the boys, it was just great to take it all in.
"But we haven't won anything, yet. We have to refocus on Monday and look forward to the semi-final."
Warburton only took on the Wales captaincy earlier this summer after hooker Matthew Rees suffered a neck injury that sidelined him from World Cup contention, but the 23-year-old's inspired leadership has epitomised a squad that continues to take the tournament by storm.
"All the players and management are really supportive, and it's actually a bit easier out here, if anything," Warburton added, reflecting on his skipper's role.
"Back home it's pretty chaotic in the Six Nations in Wales with all the press, and over here all the eyes are on the All Blacks.
"There will be a few (drinks), but we have to remember that we have the biggest game of our lives next weekend.
"(Lock) Alun-Wyn Jones said on the pitch at the end that we haven't won anything yet and we have to make sure we keep our feet on the ground, so I think that is the feeling of the whole camp."
No-one underlined Wales' searing commitment more than Phillips, who delivered arguably the performance of his 58-cap Test career, scoring a superb opportunist try while also keeping his team on the front foot.
"The boys are obviously chuffed," Phillips said. "But we are telling ourselves that it's only one game, it's only the quarter-final, so there is a long way to go.
"I feel sorry for Ireland. They are great guys, and I got to know them really well on the 2009 Lions tour.
"They are great people and I feel sorry for them, but one of us had to go home today and thankfully it wasn't us."
Williams, meanwhile, claimed his 56th try in 84 Tests for Wales - an ongoing record - and then stressed that the competition's sole remaining British and Irish team mean business.
"When Mike went over in the corner, it gave us a bit of confidence, but it was a long last 15 or 20 minutes," Williams recalled.
"We are just very proud of what we've done so far and what we've done leading up to the tournament.
"Some people thought I was being funny when I said we were coming here to win it, but I wasn't.
"We have a squad with a lot of young players, but they are experienced young players. They bring a freshness to the squad, and it seems to be working."
The Wales squad will fly to Auckland overnight, British time, from where they can begin plotting something that few people outside their camp would have thought possible a few short months ago - a place in the Rugby World Cup final.
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