Jesse Jones said the same thing about leaving it natural, I may end up doing that. I may put some shellac or Danish oil on it though, I think it would make for a nice finish as well. He also suggested that, if I were insistent on staining it, to do a red understain, and then do a chocolate overstain and rub it off the highest ridges of the rustication before it dried to give it a two-tone/worn look. I'll take some other suggestions just to see if there's something out there that I haven't already considered.
As for what I used to rusticated it? I am very good friends with pipe maker Jesse Jones, and he has a modified, Phillips head screwdriver that I used. Now if you've never used one of these things, they are very effective at doing their job, and produce a very nice rustication. However, they also do their job very well on the human hand, twice I did some not-too-enjoyable damage to the hand I was holding the pipe with.