Minimal pairs spring to many teachers' minds when the topic of pronunciation teaching is raised. They also form the focus of many course-books on pronunciation. This article [in the ELT Journal] argues that minimal pairs do not merit this attention. There are other aspects of pronunciation which are of greater importance, and there are other ways of teaching vowel and consonant pronunciation.
ELT Journal 1995 49(2):169-175 Retrieved March 12, 2008, from http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/49/2/169
Unfortunately the entire article is not available to those without a subscription to the ELT Journal. I, for one, plan to do further research into this area.