Many paneling products need drywall behind them to support them. What does the mfg say about the faux boards?
I strongly favor a 2x4 stud wall an inch away from the foundation instead of furring strips. Put them 16" o.c., not 24. It makes a more solid wall. If only adults will use the basement you may be ok with 24. If you have kids at all - go with 16.
My opinion on sealers is this: If you need one, you have more serious problems to deal with. If you don't need one, its a waste of time and money. Sealers are not a long term solution. If you have moisture problems, figure 5 years tops.