I was cleaning out dust from my case today when I thought about how much better it would be to have the coolers for your graphics cards on the top instead of the bottom. Surely it must be better for airflow, and no one wants to look at a PCB especially if you have a windowed case like I do.
I think it's what jrayx said, and that if the fan was on the top it would be pulling the hot air down, while optimally the air should be drawn up as hot air naturally rises so the fan being on top would be fighting the convection in the case.
There should be some kind of solution to this... Regarding the SilverStone thing, do you mean the TJ11 case? I'd avoid that since the hot air rising would just go towards all the main components. I think there should be someway to have the GPU aligned both ways, up or down.
The video card is sucking IN air, not blowing air out.
Facing the fan up would suck in hot air from the CPU fan, or simply cause turbulence negatively effecting the airflow of the entire system.
Having it facing DOWN, sucks in the colder fresh air that is being drawn in from any intake fans that are commonly down near the bottom of the case. This keeps the graphics card cooler, and keeps the air flowing properly for other components.
Still, staring at a PCB all the time, unless you were to have something along the lines of an aftermarket GPU cooler or a water block on it, looks awful.
I personally don't spend much time staring at the PCB's in my computer, but I agree, the PCB side of a video card is not its best side, especially since once it's installed, you never see the nice artwork on the shroud again.
Here is something you could do. Measure the visible area of the PCB and cut a piece of some rigid, non-conductive material like plastic and trick it out with some cool artwork and attach it to the PCB with some adhesive spacers so the cover doesn't touch anything. That should help the appearance a lot.
Does any one remember the old (Very Old) ISA interface expansion slots. Those cards were designed to have the component side facing up in a tower computer or to the right in a desktop computer. However, when PCI and later PCIe was developed the cards have had the component side facing down in a tower and facing left in a desktop. That's why current graphics cards have the component side facing down. The fact that dust is easier to clean off the solder side of a card is a fortunate side effect.