I love all kinds of wood finishes and wooden products. I don't care if its kitchen spoons or speakers or furniture. It took me quite a while to get to the point where I could order Salks and I figured that I'd probably only get a purchase like that past my wife once in my life so I wasn't about to screw up the choice of finish. I looked at his website for months trying to pick out my favorite. I settled on Waterfall Bubinga for my Songtower home theater, and his standard walnut finish for my HT2-TL's. I did however, pay way too much money custom ordering some really nice bubinga veneer and had it shipped to Jim as well as way too much money for some exquisite claro walnut for the baffle of my HT2-TL's.
12 years and several moves later what I've really learned is the finish doesn't matter. I don't even really notice anymore. They are sexy speakers sure, but I just care that they sound fantastic, and I have zero time in my day to sit and ogle over how they look. The standard finish is great, so is the custom veneer. In fact, these days I find that I appreciate the standard finish with a custom baffle a bit more than the crazy bubinga veneer I bought.
I've been hankering for some of the Salk Silks, and if I do I'll probably end up with standard cherry and just let them age. Or maybe a really light maple, since it contrasts very well with the black baffles.