There is an interesting group of papers in the KDD Cup 2007 on the Netflix Prize recommender contest. The full papers are particularly good and detail techniques that are doing well in the contest, but also don't miss the much lighter introductory paper, "The Netflix Prize" (PDF), and its discussion and charts of the progress on the prize.
On a related note, you might also be interested in Simon Funk's enjoyable write-ups (  ) on his explorations into using SVD for the Netflix contest. I particularly liked his focus on the speed of and twiddles to SVD.
By the way, I am no longer playing with the contest, but I should admit that I never got anywhere near the performance of these contenders. For more on that, see my post, "Latest on the Netflix prize". Interesting that my prediction in that post -- that additional data on the movies from another source will be necessary -- so far has turned out to be wrong.