Sounds like European cup hinges would work well. They are easy to adjust and they make models that swing out and away when you open them. I think I may be missing something though. Why not attach drywall to cheap plywood? I would think this would draw less attention. The bigger issue is properly sealing of the hatch. A LOT if heat will escape to your attic if you don't have some weather stripping on it.
My attic hatch? Plywood, drywall four bricks and insulation that rests on a simple frame made of decorative molding and a 1" wide piece of weather strip foam. The bricks give the neccessary weight to seal the hatch. When I want in the attic I just lift the hatch up.