Goldbugs, rejoice. It's time to see whether all that glitters truly is gold. I may not be the best person to introduce this week's bout; in November 2005, just as a share of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and an ounce of gold were hitting the $500 mark, I proposed that Google was the better value.

I've been wrong so far, which my fellow Fool Robert Aronen won't let me live down. It's perfectly fitting that he should argue in favor of gold this week.

I wasn't always this way. Through the 1990s, I was in an investment club -- the third ever on the Internet -- that devoured the stuff. Two of our largest holdings were low-cost producer Barrick (NYSE:ABX) and its real estate partner Trizec, recently acquired by Brookfield Properties (NYSE:BPO). In fact, the club's acronym was GOLD (Genie's On Line Discoverers). I left a few years before the club's eventual disbanding in 2004.  

I won't be stepping in as the bear. I'd probably only find myself heaving softballs at hard assets, and you deserve better than that. I need a true attack dog, so in comes Chuck Saletta.

Does gold present the ideal inflation hedge in these uncertain times, or is the precious metal losing its shine? That's what this week's bout is all about.

Duel on!