You're going to love how this sub sounds.
I believe that this driver is meant for front firing. That's how their kits are designed. I could be wrong though. Kex and/or Feanor may be along soon to give a more definitive answer.
As for the veneer. Yes, Home Depot and Lowes are a good place to start. Parts Express has some nice stuff too. Did you check theirs out?
I do like your choice of dark cherry.
WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.