You could always order the plastic canvas.
This is #5 which is what I'm using. The fish will be able to see each other fairly well, but it allows for good water flow for filtration purposes.
Acrylic would be a good alternative, but will cost you twice as much as the mesh (even after shipping) and you have to have it cut perfect.
A good way to get perfect holes is to get some peg board and lay it on top of the acrylic. Get it squared up and use the peg boards holes as guides.
And yes, the fish will calm down once they are desensitized. However, it is very stressful on the fish the first few days, so make sure you give them lots of love. Putting plants against the divider will help as well. Anything that will block their view would be helpful.
You can also get 7 mesh or even 10 mesh which you wont be able though as well as the 5 mesh. You will just have to make sure your getting enough filtration to both sides.