The Natural History Museum has an overview of the status of Homo heidelbergensis, the widely accepted common ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals. This accompanies Chris Stringer's article that will soon appear in Evolutionary Anthropology. The piece from the NHM is quite instructive as it highlights the dubious attribution of the Sima de los Huesos remains to heidelbergensis; Stringer expresses doubts on both their 600ky antiquity and their taxonomic classification, preferring to assign them to early Neandertals.
There was an earlier story in the Guardian with a rather misleading title which quotes some other opinions on the controversy.
(I'll add the abstract to this paper and any further comments on it when it appears on the journal website).
UPDATE (Aug 3): Abstract added; paper is open access.
Evolutionary Anthropology Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 101–107, May/June 2012
The status of Homo heidelbergensis (Schoetensack 1908)
The species Homo heidelbergensis is central to many discussions about recent human evolution. For some workers, it was the last common ancestor for the subsequent species Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis; others regard it as only a European form, giving rise to the Neanderthals. Following the impact of recent genomic studies indicating hybridization between modern humans and both Neanderthals and “Denisovans”, the status of these as separate taxa is now under discussion. Accordingly, clarifying the status of Homo heidelbergensis is fundamental to the debate about modern human origins.