Joggernot -- I, like you, would prefer a hand rubbed finish. But this is an exterior application.
I'm the sort that would put it out in the sunlight for a season or two* and let it get a nice silver sheen, then glass it with a matte finish.
What I'd like to see is cedar shingles laid like fish scales. Here's the idea in vinyl or something:
*If that kitchen sink that's been in the carport waiting for refinishing for 2 years is any indication.