Really, you know, there is no big deal about any of this stuff.
With almost all the stock MF lenses, the widest aperture will be crap - it is just there for focusing - and the smallest aperture will also be crap. (We are not talking Leica here, and amazing wide-open performance, neither are we discussing LF lenses and the capability to use f64). So if the biggest hole and the smallest hole should be avoided, that leaves the ones in between. It's pretty safe to assume that the hole in the middle of the range (around f8) will be the best to use. So use f8, but if you need a bit more DOF then f11 will be just fine too. On the other hand, if you would like a softer background for portaits, open her up to f5.6.
That's pretty much it, really. What else are you going to do?