Michael Wunder has come up with a very cool way to make great-looking user interfaces in MATLAB. Instead of relying on traditional user interface controls (radio buttons, push buttons, etc.), he maps regions of an image to actions. This is very similar to image maps in HTML, which let you associate callbacks based on where in a graphic the user clicks.
"Car Pannels GUI"
is an example application that shows how an image map can be used to create a photo-realistic GUI of the various controls in a car. Michael hasn't packaged the functionality in a general-purpose way, but you should be able to modify his code for your application.
Note that this demo optionally uses the Image Processing Toolbox. With the Toolbox, you can create your own custom image map. If you don't have it, you can still run this example with the existing map.