thank you for your clarification! I really enjoyed it!
As for me your answer could not be long enough :)
I have been trying to go to both the extremes - either to play everything by ear or by theory. And I failed ha-ha-ha.
But what is slowly slowly coming out of it is the understanding that every one of us finally has to find his /her own way to master those sweet "secret" tones.
I'd say that there is never a "best" way to learn scales and modes, but finding your OWN way is usually a really good thing because then you'll really remember it - and that's what you've done!
A few things;
It might've been a typo but remember that the dorian mode has a b7 and not a major 7th.
The most important thing is to start hearing the differences between the modes. If you really practice the patterns of the major scale, you'll get it into your fingers, and since all the notes of all the modes are in that one scale - it helps so much just practicing that scale over and over (preferably to a backing track or similar) until you feel free on the fretboard. You should be able to say, "ok, now I'm going to improvise within the framework of Bb major..".. then you change key to any random key, like E majord, then C major etc... just so that you understand how the scale is laid out on the fretboard - and how it sounds. Make sure to practice it without looking at the fretboard too.
Let me know if you have any other questions or thoughts on this!
By the way, so sorry for the late reply Frederick - I've been away from the computer over Christmas/New Years but I'm back on track today!