We've all experienced it before. Once we become passionate about something -- whether it's that special someone, our hometown football team, or even our favorite stocks -- it's pretty hard for us to take an impartial view of the situation. We start to view them only in the most positive light, while almost completely ignoring the negative stuff. Ignorance is bliss, right?

But while the "Ostrich Syndrome" might work wonders for some ill-matched couples and all fans of the Detroit Lions (record to date: 2-11), ignoring reality by sticking your head in the sand can prove fatal for investors.

Two sides to every coin
Here at the Fool, we advocate listening carefully to both sides of any stock story -- the bull and the bear case -- so that investors have a chance to make informed and objective investment decisions. That kind of philosophy inspired the creation of our Dueling Fools column and our award-winning discussion boards; it also gives our writers and analysts the freedom to disagree (sometimes vehemently!) with one another.

With that in mind, I'm going to highlight two closely contested "investment battles" taking place over in our Motley Fool CAPS community. Unlike stocks such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), and Altria (NYSE:MO) which are all bullishly overweighted, the stocks I highlight here have a fairly even number of CAPS supporters and detractors.

By watching both sides go at each other with an array of intellectual ammunition, maybe we can glean a few investment insights. And if not, hey, at least we'll get to witness a good old-fashioned bullfight. Ole!

This week's two stock skirmishes involve:


CAPS Bulls

CAPS Bears

CAPS Rating

St. Joe (NYSE:JOE)




Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO)




Naturally, these stocks should be thoroughly researched before any kind of decision is made on them -- whether it's a buy, sell, short, or waffle. Besides, with stocks this hotly debated, investors should proceed with extra caution.

But just for starters, here's a quick glimpse of some of the toe-to-toe action regarding these stocks, with a little color commentary thrown in by yours truly.

Joe: Go-go or no-show?
St. Joe, one of Florida's largest real estate operating companies, has been experiencing some major headwinds lately. The Jacksonville-based developer's third-quarter earnings fell 83% because of a slowing housing market and the company's decision to exit the Florida homebuilding business.

Many bears in our CAPS community have noted St. Joe's difficulties in Northwest Florida and pounced on the opportunity. The bearish CAPS consensus is that St. Joe's severe lack of diversification will only perpetuate further operating losses as the housing market continues to deflate.

CAPS All-Star TMFBent states his prediction succinctly: "Gonna be some big hurts in FLA real estate." How can anyone argue with that?

Well, many St. Joe bulls are trying to take a longer-term view of the company's business prospects, in hopes that they'll be able to weather the Florida real estate storm. According to XtraPicky, St. Joe's stock should be owned as long as it's uncorrelated with other stocks being held. Modern portfolio theorists would definitely be proud:

"JOE will survive the real estate bust and continue as a long-term growth story. Its vast amount of Florida real estate should allow it a permanent place in diversified portfolios. JOE will prosper for as long as retirees care to live in warm climates in close proximity to beaches and rivers ..."

A zoo full of furry fighters
Unlike St. Joe, which reported disappointing third-quarter results, Travelzoo's performance was spectacular. The Internet media company, which publishes travel specials for millions and millions of users, grew its Q3 revenues 31%, while net income grew 98%.

Those financial results have Travelzoo bulls snorting the company's praises and charging hard against their bearish foes.

According to popular helpful pitcher (and fellow Fool) TMFBreakerRick:

"Simplicity is often the key of success. Sure, anyone can duplicate Travelzoo's Top 20 email list ... Why would a provider pay more to have its travel deal exposed by a provider without the proven pedigree? In short, if the Travelzoo model was broken we would have known it by now. It's not. It works. Ridiculous margins. Healthy growth. Book it."

But, of course, we can't forget about the whole family of grizzled Travelzoo bears, who simply aren't buying what the bulls are selling. The bearish sentiment regarding Travelzoo states that its business model is a cinch to imitate, with no competitive advantages, while the shares are severely overpriced.

But what's your opinion, Fool?
There you have it, Fools. CAPS is indeed a great place to generate interesting investment leads, read what fellow Fools think, and watch an awesome bullfight. If you're tired of just sitting on the sidelines, join the CAPS community absolutely free.

Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Discover our entire portfolio of Foolish dividend dynamos with a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara only runs with the bulls when there's a margin of safety involved. He doesn't hold a position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy is always a clear-cut winner.