NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Shots are being fired across the financial media realm as analysts, market commentators, and bloggers debate the future prospects of the municipal bond market.Although it remains unclear as to how this issue will eventually play out, long-term conservative investors may want to consider alternative asset classes to municipal bonds until clearer skies prevail. Meredith Whitney initially touched off the conversation when, in an interview with 60 Minutes, she boldly predicted 50 to 100 municipal bonds defaults this year. Since making this forecast, others from across the financial universe such as Bill Gross have offered up their own opinions regarding the likelihood of such a meltdown. Whitney's prediction has been the focus throughout much of this most recent discussion. However, she is not the only prominent Wall Street name to voice concern over the debt situation facing the municipal bond market. In mid-2010, Warren Buffett expressed his own concerns for this region of the bond market. Speaking in front of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission on the topic of ratings agencies, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman provided a worrisome forecast for the municipal bond market. Shying away from the short time horizon pointed to by Whitney, Buffett instead focused his attention to what was in store five or 10 years down the road. The Oracle of Omaha insisted that a "terrible problem" is inevitable and that solving it will require action taken on the part of the federal government. Reflecting these concerns, the famous investor has recently pared back his exposure to municipal debt. Although not without risk, in the past, the muni bond market has not been viewed as an excessively dangerous region of the market. However, with comments from individuals like Whitney and Buffett coupled the sovereign debt crisis facing Europe, investors have been reminded of the budget woes facing a number of major municipalities and alarms have been raised. These fears are leading many to question the long-term stability of this market region. In response, muni-focused ETFs have gotten battered. The iShares S&P AMT-Free Municipal Bond Fund ( MUB), the largest ETF tracking this corner of the bond market, has plummeted since September.