Is there was away to get a clear or smoke colored background, something you can see through?
This is a subject that comes up fairly repeatedly... in a nutshell, no, you cannot use a transparent dashboard.
Because nUI uses vertical space in the dashboard, it resizes and moves your world frame up by 1/2 the height of the dashboard (which actually is very nearly the entire height of the non-transparent parts of the default dashboard) which leaves a large empty black area behind the dashboard that you cannot presently see. If the dashboard were transparent, it would show like a sore thumb.
In addition, if you really look at it, there's very little area there that the dashboards is not using. It has been my experience that when you remove the solid dashboard, the visual impact feels even more cluttered and claustrophobic.
Trust me, you *think* you want a transparent dashboard there, but if you had it, you wouldn't be happy with it.
What people don't get is that I am, ultimately, an artist at heart.
My brush has two colors, 1 and 0, and my canvas is made of silicon.