"Investors helping investors beat the market." That's how The Motley Fool's CAPS community describes itself, and to date, there are over 125,000 CAPS members doing just that. Day in and day out, CAPS members share their thoughts on thousands of stocks while the behind-the-scenes CAPS rating algorithms rank CAPS members and stocks, making it easy to find the best-performing stock pickers and the community's favorite stocks.

But with almost three million stock recommendations on nearly 5,400 stocks, not to mention those 125,000 member portfolios and a countless number of member blogs, the big question is where to start. Though there's no right answer, I thought I'd kick off your travels with some of the best of the community over the past week.

Let's blog it out
CAPS' blogs are a great way for members to share broad market thoughts or get more in depth on a particular stock idea or investment theme. Every week members are adding reams of great new insights in this part of the community.

Does anybody still remember when Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) was one of the hottest stocks around? The company was going to change the whole game, Eddie Lampert was going to be the next Warren Buffett, blah blah blah. Well off its highs now, and with far fewer investors in its cheering section, could Sears finally be a good value? CAPS blogger bert111 thinks so, and tells us why in a recent blog post.

If you feel like you've had about enough of this market and its crazy volatility, maybe a blog like Imperial1964's is just what you need. In a recent post, Imperial took a look at why this market is a great one for making money -- and doing so without buying puts or going short.

What did you learn from the movie Independence Day? TMFRhino claims: "All I need to know in life I learned from Independence Day." Crazy claim? Guiding light? You decide! Click through to see what this is all about and what it has to do with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

The best of the best weigh in
The top ten players on CAPS don't keep their spots by being complacent, and most have been pretty active over the past week, sticking their thumbs in both directions.

No. 3 ranked goldminingXpert was busy over the last week adding 13 new underperform picks and four new outperforms. Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) and Apollo Group both got red thumbs, while discount airline JetBlue was one of the few bullish calls. On the latter, goldminingXpert said: "This is a $12 stock in a few years." If that's on target, investors would stand to make over 85% from current levels.

Two spots down, at number five, tenmiles was also working the red thumb, making four bearish picks over the past week. Besides taking the bearish side on the Sears debate, this ace stock picker gave Level 3 Communications an underperform rating, saying: "really not keen on technically overbought companies raising money at 15% in a recession."

And finally, eighth-ranked TDRH slammed a thumb down on navigation device maker Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN). Why? Let's see:

Ended my four year relationship with verizon and got an iphone for christmas from Ra72. Maps directions are not the best but work well enough in the boondocks of Texas. Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommended sell. Pitch/rationale was solid.

Want more? You can quickly track down the full portfolios of CAPS top members by clicking through here.

Stock pickers' delight
And for the stock pickers out there, articles throughout the week on Fool.com have been highlighting some interesting stock ideas based on CAPS community data. Jennifer Schonberger, for example, hit us with The Best Stocks for 2009 and Beyond, which used CAPS to come up with some "recession resisters" for the coming year, including PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and Colgate-Palmolive.

Meanwhile, Rich Duprey and Dave Mock also took to CAPS looking for good stock ideas. In 10 Stocks Under Attack, Rich looked at ten stocks -- including perennial short victim Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) along with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) -- that have been in the crosshairs of short-sellers. Dave hit up the CAPS screener to find 3 Stocks Bucking the Downtrend.

You can go your own way
But, of course, all this just scratches the surface of CAPS, and there's no right or wrong way to use the wealth of information that members have contributed. If nothing above caught your fancy, you can always just click on through to CAPS and blaze your own trail.

More CAPS Foolishness:

On Jan. 12, 2009, Fool co-founder David Gardner, Jeff Fischer, and their Motley Fool Pro team will accept new subscribers to their real-money portfolio service. Motley Fool Pro is investing $1 million of the Fool’s own money in long and short positions in a range of securities, including common stocks, put and call options, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). They also incorporate proprietary CAPS "community intelligence" data into their research. To learn more about Motley Fool Pro and to receive a private invitation to join, simply enter your email address in the box below.

Garmin is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. PepsiCo is an Income Investor pick. Sears Holdings and Microsoft are Inside Value selections. Apple is a Stock Advisor recommendation, whereas Garmin was a former pick.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Sears but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. The Fool’s disclosure policy has already made fun of Matt for owning Sears, so don't feel like you have to.