Need experts on bonds and bond funds — duration vs. maturity

I’m looking for financial advisors, fund managers and academics with tips on how investors should look at maturities and durations in today’s market. This story will start as a primer on the difference between the two figures. What does the maturity figure tell you about a bond or bond fund? What does the duration figure say? I know the nuts and bolts but am interested in how professionals look at this data, and especially at the relative importance of the components used in calculating duration. Are there any pitfalls in using this data? Next, what bond strategies do you favor in today’s market and why? Should investors look for shorter durations, for example? What do you think will happen in the bond markets over the course of this year? Over the next few years? Do you think conditions warrant a significant change to a long-term bond strategy, or stock/bond allocations? Or would you recommend just a few changes around he edges, or nothing at all? In other words, the story’s about how to use this readily available data to plot a course today. What else should I be asking? Requirements: I prefer responses by email containing usable content and quotes, and because I usually get plenty I rarely respond to ones merely offering a source for interview. Please include the source’s contact info, full name, title, firm and location.