wanted to spend a week in Bangkok would it be best to steer clear
I can honestly say you won't notice any difference... All the Thais I know are pretty nonplussed and, apart from the roads currently being a bit less congested (hurray!), there's no change to any major tourist areas.
I would expect that any evidence of the rallies will have completely disappeared by the time you arrive :-) about 7 years ago
Yeah we were there last year when they had a similar protest and took over an army tank. You probably wont get mixed up in it unless you go out of your way to be amongst the crowd. As Laura said, you wont probably see it in a couple of weeks.. about 7 years ago
OK, I have to take that back... The situation is obviously far more serious and longterm than we first anticipated. The main shopping district of Ratchaprasong remains closed and the area is to be avoided, along with Silom. Other areas of Bangkok remain currently untouched by any problems but my advice would be to check official travel advisories and local news such as http://www.bangkokpost.com/ and http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/ about 7 years ago