ELI KAVON: Who were the Pharisees? (Jerusalem Post, Past Imperfect Blog). Corrects the negative stereotypes about the Pharisees, but does so by reinforcing the ones about the Sadducees. Also, there does seem to be a relationship between the Pharisees and the Rabbinic sages, but the exact nature of the relationship is complex and still in need of clarification.
A few past posts on the Pharisees are here, here, and here.